The producers of the upcoming horror film Captivity have agreed to take down Los Angeles billboard and New York City taxicab ads featuring female lead Elisha Cuthbert in gratuitous stages of torture, following a flurry of complaints from parents and offended women. "We neither saw nor approved this [campaign] before it was posted," a Lions Gate Entertainment exec tells Reuters. "Once aware of the materials and the reaction... we immediately asked [distribution partner] After Dark to remove the billboards."

Contending that Captivity - in which Cuthbert awakens to find herself held in a cellar - is "also about female empowerment," the After Dark CEO says, "For the audience it's made for, it's satisfying. I'm sure that's not the same audience that's complaining about the billboards."

The MPAA, which could now withhold a rating from the film, has yet to comment on how it will respond to the ads, which are in defiance of its rules and regulations.