Spotify have decided to remove a commercial from UK television after it was ruled as being ‘distressing’ for young children who may watch it.

Ask any Australian child who was alive in the ’90s, and they’ll almost unanimously agree that one of the scariest moments of their childhood was that creepy faceless doll – EC – from Lift Off. While we’ve been forced to relive nightmares of horrifying children’s toys for decades now, parents in the UK have managed to pull a Spotify ad off the airwaves after their children suffered a similar experience.

As Billboard notes, Spotify’s new Halloween-themed commercial for “killer songs you can’t resist” parodies the horror movie genre, but just a little too well for some UK parents it seems.

The ad shows a creepy-looking doll who is awakened by the “catchy melody and sing-along lyrics” of Camila Cabello’s ‘Havana’, and ostensibly picks off the ad’s protagonists one by one.

However, as parents have complained to the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the ad in question was “irresponsibly targeted” towards children by airing before child-friendly footage, reportedly scaring youngsters in the process.

Following an analysis of the advertisement, the ASA noted that despite it’s somewhat satirical nature, it was “likely to cause undue distress to children”.

“In particular, the ad contained scenes that had tense sound effects and imagery similar to a horror film including the implied threat of violence,” the ASA explained. “The fact the ad was set inside the home, including a bedtime setting, and featured a doll, meant it was particularly likely to cause distress to children who saw it.”

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