Game maker Electronic Arts has been barred by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) from displaying a poster for its “Burnout Dominator” game after the watchdog received 37 complaints.
The London Underground poster created by Wieden & Kennedy and bearing the headline “Inner Peace Through Outer Violence”, showed a sports car that had crashed into a wall. Glass was scattered on the floor and a detached tyre was burning in the foreground.
Complainants objected to the depiction of violence and had concerns that the poster would encourage violence, dangerous driving and anti-social behaviour.
According to the ASA ruling, the “vivid” depiction of the crashed car and burning tyre, combined with the slogan’s implication that people could achieve inner piece through violence, was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.
The ad has been banned from appearing in its current form. EA Games says it will seek advice from the Committee of Advertising Practice on future campaigns.
This is the first complaint the ASA has upheld against EA Games since 1997. Its “Syndicate Wars” PC game, created under the trade name Bull Frog Productions, drew four complaints.