Watchdog bans offensive anti-terror advert

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The Independent Online

Britain's advertising watchdog has banned an anti-terrorism commercial asking people to watch out for suspicious behavior by their neighbors, including keeping curtains closed and paying for things in cash.

The Advertising Standards Authority says the radio ad could cause "serious offense" to law-abiding citizens.

The ad was part of a campaign for a police anti-terrorist hotline. It described a man who "likes to keep himself to himself," doesn't have a bank card and keeps his curtains closed, before advising that "this may mean nothing, but together it could all add up to you having suspicions."

The watchdog said today that innocent listeners could be offended by the implication that their behavior was suspicious and ruled the ad should not run again.