U.K. bans ad labeling shut-ins as terrorists


Do you have a neighbor who keeps to himself and pays for things in cash? Hate to break it to you, but he could be a terrorist. That's the gist of a radio ad that has been banned by Britain's advertising watchdog. Sponsored by the Association of Chief Police Officers, the ad asks Brits to report suspicious activity by neighbors, such as having their window shades drawn at all hours. The police association said the behaviors were based on common activities reported at terrorism trials, but the Advertising Standards Authority—which seems to have come down with a rare case of common sense—noted that such suspicious activities "could also describe the behavior of a number of law-abiding people." The ASA added that "some listeners might be offended by the suggestion that they report members of their community for acting in the way described." Here in America, it would be silly to call out your shut-in neighbors as terrorists. They're more likely to be grumpy, robe-wearing atheists.