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.
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets
Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 iPhone 7 (or iPhone 6S) leaked pictures show similarities to older model — but Apple is fixing the biggest issue of all
- 2 David Cameron refers to 83-year-old Labour MP Dennis Skinner as 'Jurassic Park'
- 3 Alton Towers Air breaks down: 80 people stuck on broken down Monorail during heatwave
- 4 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 5 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
Game of Thrones season 6: Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke says '50/50 chance' Jon Snow is alive
Jessie Cave interview: Harry Potter's Lavender Brown has published a collection of feminist cartoons
Amy, film review: Beautiful film reveals ugly truth behind singer's downward spiral
'Dukes of Hazzard' pulled from screens by CBS as outcry over Confederate flag grows
London Has Fallen trailer release branded 'extremely insensitive' ahead of 10th anniversary of 7/7 bombings
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert