Odeon bows to parents’ anger

Missing girl ad sparks protests

LONDON — The Odeon cinema chain has pulled an advert screened as part of an appeal to find missing 4-year-old girl Madeleine McCann after a flurry of protests from angry parents.

The advert, screened before pics such as U-rated “Shrek the Third,” zooms in on a photo of Madeleine and describes how she was “snatched” from her hotel room in Portugal on May 3.

The Odeon, the Advertising Standards Agency and website Mumsnet all received complaints from irate parents following the screening of the advert. “We have removed the campaign from all U, PG and 12A films and are in the process of reviewing all other screenings of the campaign on a film by film basis,” said an Odeon statement.

The advert had been produced for Odeon by Carlton Screen Advertising. The campaign reel had been approved by the British Board of Film Classification, which confirmed that it had given it a U classification, allowing it to be screened for all audiences above the age of four.

“The decision to screen the campaign was an act of good faith made by Carlton Screen Advertising, who control the advertising content for the majority of all U.K. cinemas,” read the Odeon statement. “While continuing to support the appeal, we have taken the decision to review where best to screen the campaign.”

U.K. cinemas were packed this weekend with families for the opening weekend of “Shrek the Third,” which took in a three-day cume of $33.6 million, according to figures released Monday by Nielsen EDI.

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