River cruise firm pulls ITV Broadchurch sponsorship over burning boat scene
It was a twist which left viewers of the ITV murder mystery drama Broadchurch baffled.
Why had those enticing clips of luxury cruises, which promoted the series sponsor during each programme break, suddenly disappeared from view?
The Independent has learned that Viking River Cruises pulled its on-screen sponsorship because it did not want to be associated with dramatic scenes of a burning boat.
Broadchurch, starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman as police detectives, has attracted seven million viewers to its depiction of a Dorset coastal town which is rocked by the death of an 11 year-old boy.
A key plot development involves a boat which is set on fire at night and left to drift in the harbour, destroying vital evidence.
The burning boat scene was shown minutes after a Viking River Cruise promotion (“Exploring the world in comfort”) marking the end of an advert break, depicting a vessel in its fleet taking passengers on a night-time cruise.
The juxtaposition prompted negative Tweets from viewers. One wrote: “That boat on fire at the end of tonight’s Broadchurch is how I imagine all Viking River Cruises end.”
The company, which operates the world’s largest fleet of deluxe vessels and plys the waterways of Europe, Ukraine and China, felt it could not be associated with the plot development and suspended its sponsorship from Monday night’s episode.
Wendy Atkin-Smith, Managing Director of Viking River Cruises UK had said: “We did pull our sponsorship from Monday’s Broadchurch, having received an outline of the sensitivities around the content of the episode, ahead of airing on Monday.”
The cruise clips were reportedly due to return to Broadchurch after the company, which sponsors ITV’s Mystery Dramas including Marple, Endeavour and Scott & Bailey, was satisfied that there would be no further boat-related conflagrations. However, the company later said they would be pulling its sponsorship clips from the entire series, stating that they were "not in line" with the tone of the series.
Viewers questioned the absence of the familiar sponsorship “bumpers”. One Tweeted: “Seriously, what happened to Viking River Cruises sponsoring #Broadchurch? Shame? Budget? Taste?”
ITV said the decision to suspend the sponsorship was taken after the broadcaster’s commercial department had a discussion with the cruise firm over “forthcoming sensitivities” in this week’s episode.
Viking River Cruises did not sponsor last year’s ITV blockbuster drama, the four-part mini-series, Titanic.
Listen to his collaboration with Naughty Boymusic
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 3 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 4 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 5 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
Top Gear live to go ahead: Jeremy Clarkson to join Richard Hammond and James May... just don't call it Top Gear
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans