Complaints to ITC over computer game and ketchup ads

Computer game publisher Electronic Arts (EA) has come under fire over the television advertising for Medal of Honor: Front Line, its latest title for the PlayStation 2.

According to the Independent Television Commission (ITC), a number of viewers have complained that the ads are offensive. The ads, by Odiorne Wilde Narraway & Partners, appear to start with live-action footage taken from an infantry landing craft approaching a Normandy beach in the Second World War.

A spokeswoman for the ITC says that 24 complaints have been received so far. Some viewers were offended by the idea of a game based on the D-Day landings, while others thought survivors of the assaults might be upset and some thought the use of live-action footage – and particularly close-up shots of individual soldiers – was inappropriate. A spokesman for EA says that, while the initial shot of an infantry landing craft is archive footage from the Second World War, the soldiers are in fact actors.

The ITC has also received a complaints about the latest Heinz Ketchup ad, an “X Files”-style production that features a military rescue team arriving at an arctic research station after contact has been lost with the scientists. The team finds the scientists alive but starving, although the station’s store-cupboards are full of food. Finally, the soldiers reach the dining hall where they find the answer to the mystery – an empty bottle of Heinz Ketchup. Seven viewers complained that the ad’s horror movie-like visuals might disturb small children.

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