A Halloween-themed commercial streaming on Spotify is being criticized for being too frightening for children.
A British advertising watchdog group says the 60-second Spotify ad spoofs horror films, showing a group of teenagers in a house with a creepy doll that comes to life and haunts them.
The commercial begins with a girl waking up and asking, "Can we play the wake-up playlist?"
The song that plays is Camila Cabello's "Havana," which awakens the killer doll. Later in the ad, a boy tries to play the song and when a girl tries to stop him, the doll's hand enters the picture, presumably ready to press play and begin horrifying them.
The commercial ends with a view of the creepy doll's face and the tagline: "Killer songs you can't resist."
Spotify defended the ad, saying it was meant to appear as a "humorous parody of a horror movie trailer." They were certain that "viewers would understand the context." The ad does not include gore or violence.
Spotify also argued that the ad was targeting to adult viewers, and data from the channel it aired on showed that 89 percent of the audience was aged 18 or older. Only 11 percent of the channel's viewers were aged 13-17.
The advertising watchdog group ruled that the ad "was likely to cause undue distress to children." With that, Spotify received a slap on the wrist and was basically told to target its ads better.