Skip to main content
Amnesty International UK
Log in

UK: Amnesty slams TV ad ban: 'Human rights are not political'

Advertising clearance agency Clearcast says Amnesty International’s work on protecting human rights is ‘political’

Latest advert featuring Olivia Colman and Adrian Lester on perils of mould infested housing will not be broadcast as a result

‘Clearcast are themselves politicising these fundamental issues’ - Sacha Deshmukh

Amnesty International UK has sharply criticised the advertising approval agency Clearcast for preventing Amnesty from screening adverts on human rights issues.

Amnesty had sought permission to broadcast an advert purporting to be a trailer for a supposed new drama starring award-winning actors Olivia Colman and Adrian Lester.

The trailer tells the story of Anna, a young mother with her newborn baby Grace. After being homeless and placed in black mould-infested housing by the local authorities, Anna’s daughter’s health rapidly deteriorates leading to her tragic death. 

Last month, Clearcast - the advertising clearance agency with responsibility for deciding which adverts can be carried by broadcasters in the UK - wrote to Amnesty saying it would not clear Amnesty adverts for transmission.

Though Amnesty continues to contest the Clearcast decision, the Colman/Lester film will be shown in cinemas and on display boards in train stations and the London Underground, and on street billboards across the country.

Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s Chief Executive, said:

“Clearcast have made the wrong call in preventing us from advertising and we’d like them to reverse it.

“Blocking our ads when other rights based organisations such as UNICEF, Oxfam and Save the Children are correctly allowed on air, that’s a form of censorship and Clearcast are themselves politicising these fundamental issues.

“Safe housing is not political, hunger is not political and basic human rights themselves are not political.

“This isn’t about party politics, it’s about the basic right to live a dignified life.

“We simply don’t accept a biased decision to censor Amnesty International’s right to communicate on TV and we feel this is too important to let stand.”

View latest press releases