ASA bans TV ad for glorifying violence

Strangehold%2C%20Midway%20GamesThe Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a TV ad for a computer game, that featured a prolonged shoot-out between four men, for glorifying violence and gun crime.

The ad for Stranglehold, launched by Midway Games, aimed to position it as a “blockbuster game” and featured a voiceover that said: “Honour is his code. Vengeance is his mission. Violence is his only option”. It was created by Picture Production Company (PPC).

The ASA received a complaint challenging whether the ad was acceptable for transmission before 9pm.

The agency argued that the ad made it clear that the footage was animated game play and not real-life violence.

But the ASA banned the ad because it suggested it was honourable to seek revenge, on the basis that violence was an unacceptable solution to the situation.

The ASA added that the issues raised by the ad could not be addressed with a timing restriction and the only solution was to withdraw it completely.

Its decision follows an ASA report into the use of violence in advertising, triggered by an increased number of complaints (MW November 1, 2007).

  • A complaint against a national press ad for Suzuki Grand Vitara, headlined “Same CO2 tax band as a Mazda MX5” has been upheld because it was unclear that the ad only referred to one of the Grand Vitara models.

Suzuki says it has no plans to use the ad, which was created by Nexus/H, in the future.


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