Badly drawn rules

2DTV told to get Bin Laden's blessing

Makers of the animated satire 2DTV have been told they can take the mickey out of Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden - but only if they have their written permission.

Watchdogs have rejected adverts for the cartoon's DVD and video because they might have caused offence to the elusive killers.

The Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre had a similar problem with a scene showing George Bush putting a copy of the show's video into his toaster.

They said it was "offensive" and could only be broadcast if producers secured written permission from the US president - in accordance with the independent television commission advertising standards code.

"We came across this bureaucratic wall," producer Giles Pilbrow told MediaGuardian. "Someone is going to come out of this looking very stupid and it's not me."

"The ITC advertising code is obviously designed to protect ordinary people. It's surely not there to protect Bush, or despots like Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. "

He said 2DTV's writers were much ruder about Mr Bush on the show itself than on the commercials for the new DVD and video release, and that the BACC ruling smacks of "censorship".

Under broadcast rules, adverts cannot portray or caricature living people without their permission.

* Click to buy 2DTV on video or DVD.

Published: 27 Nov 2002

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