The U.K. banned this Spotify ad featuring Camila Cabello’s “Havana” because it was too scary
Halloween is less than two weeks away and everything feels just a little bit spookier. But it seems not everyone is getting into the Halloween spirit, because the U.K. has officially banned a Spotify ad featuring the Camila Cabello song “Havana” for being too scary.
According to NPR, on October 17th, the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) determined that the ad was “likely to cause undue distress to children.” The commercial was released back in June, but the ASA began investigating after a parent filed a formal complaint.
The Spotify ad in question is admittedly spooky. The minute-long spot begins with a group of twenty-somethings hanging out in a kitchen. When one woman asks for a wake-up playlist, “Havana” by Camila Cabello begins playing, and the friends jam to the song. But they’re not the only ones who enjoy the music…The song awakens a terrifying, eyeless clown doll, which stalks them through the house every time someone plays “Havana.”
The doll proceeds to pick them off one by one, but the friends can’t stop listening to such a “great song with its catchy melody and sing-along lyrics.” The ad concludes with the tagline: “Killer songs you can’t resist.”
Watch the creepy commercial for yourself—if you dare.
In a statement to Billboard, a Spotify spokesperson apologized for the scary video, saying it was meant to be humorous.
"We acknowledge the ruling from the ASA and regret any distress the ad may have caused the complainant," the statement read. "It was created as a tongue-in-cheek horror parody–intended to be a humorous ad that demonstrated just how catchy some tracks can be. We take our responsibilities as a marketer very seriously and continue to be mindful of the ASA's guidance on the effective and appropriate targeting of advertising campaigns."
Who knew that “Havana” could be so scary?