River cruise firm pulls ITV Broadchurch sponsorship over burning boat scene
Adam Sherwin is Media Correspondent at The Independent and an award-winning writer who specialises in covering the entertainment, broadcasting, music and popular culture industries. Previously Media writer and diarist at The Times, he was a co-founder of the Beehive City media and entertainment website. As regular contributor to BBC London 94.9 Radio station, he was named Music Business writer of the year at the awards of influential music industry site Record of the Day in 2006.
Thursday 28 March 2013
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.
Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Windows 10: man updates PC, wakes up to find porn slideshow on repeat
- 2 The 'world's most beautiful vagina' has been debunked by science
- 3 John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
- 4 Bulletproof armadillo puts Texas man in hospital after shot bounces off hard shell
- 5 Doctors declare war on Jeremy Hunt over weekend working 'myths' amid plan for seven day NHS
Why Harry Potter's aged 35, not 26
Frank Ocean, where's that new album at?
'Some bloke raps': Read Graham Coxon's woefully out of touch description of Kanye West's music
Jon Snow: Kit Harington spotted in Belfast where Game of Thrones season 6 is filming
Game of Thrones season 6: New toy line suggests Jon Snow is not among the dead
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband