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.

Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam