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Kinepolis apologises for far-right political ads

21:48 11/10/2018

Kinepolis has apologised after an advertisement for Belgium's far-right Parti Populaire was accidentally played to cinema-goers in Liège, potentially breaking the rules on political advertising in the run-up to Sunday's local elections.

Audience members complained about the audio ad, which could be heard twice ahead of a live transmission of a Jacques Brel tribute concert in Paris on Tuesday night. Advertising for political parties in cinemas ahead of elections is banned.

One of the viewers in the audience, Nicolas, told RTBF: "I thought it was maybe a trailer for a film and that it was looking to use shock tactics. The ad spoke a lot about immigration. I was quite shocked that it was for a political party. I thought it was illegal."

A Kinepolis spokeswoman said: "It concerned an audio spot played unintentionally in between some Brel music when people were entering the room. This unintentional act concerned a human error from someone in our projection cabin.

"No one (neither Kinepolis nor the political party) had any intention to play this audio spot or were even aware of it.

"Of course we do apologise for this incident, which occurred before one single screening in one single room, and we will take action internally to make sure this will never happen again."

Contacted by RTBF, the Parti Populaire said it was unaware of the advertisement.

Photo: Parti Populaire chairman Mischael Modrikamen in November 2017. Benoit Doppagne/Belga. This article was updated on 18 October with a statement from Kinepolis.

Written by The Bulletin