The Advertising Standards Authority has put the kibosh on an ad for Duke Nukem Forever that confronted post-watershed viewers with pole dancers, schoolgirl lesbians and multiple nipple flashes. The ad regulator said it had received 34 complaints about the ad, shown last June, that had questioned whether it was "offensive and …
Droids? Seriously? I didn't realise that. The UK version had all the people changed out for zombies. And some guy working for the local newspaper in Birmingham called Alan Pope I think (too lazy to look it up right now) went on a crusade regardless with the glorious soundbite "ban this sick filth!"
Needless to say, the box I picked up had a sticker on it saying:
BAN THIS SICK FILTH! - Pope
Classic marketing. :)
Regrettably, now, under one of the Thought Crime laws that Blair's minions brought in, "two girls [...] dressed in school uniform and [...] about to kiss" could be classed as kiddie porn since they're in school uniform, so it's possible to assume that they're under age.
What this does to St Trinian's films I don't know, but it's probably not good.
"The ad should not be broadcast again in the post-watershed time slot, it ruled. However, it OK'd the spot for post-11pm viewing."
Should have read:
"The game should not be displayed again in the general release slot of game stores, it ruled. However, it OK'd the game for bargain-bin display".
It's a historical fact in the UK that a disproportionate amount of credence is given to the wishes of a tiny minority of 'moral guardians' unelected protectors of the majority its a pity there is no way to answer back to put things into perspective like pointing out that free choice is just that free . if you don't want to know about a game with pixelated naked dancers then look away. 50 million viewers swayed by the wishes of a few hundred.
Perhaps thats the point tho, the advertiser gets to run the campaign to completion then in 6 months time when it's all been forgotten and they don't care the ASA says it was naughty.
The advertiser and company don't loose out and the ASA appears to be doing something to protect our innocent minds.
The real question is who bothers to file a complain against a computer game advert - do they not realise that not even the watchdog gives a damn about it?
The whole thing is set up so pretty much the only complaints that get through are the "think of the children" moral outrage type, or so blatantly untrue that only a moron could possibly be misled. And, as you say, by then the campaign is over.
If they had genuinely been set up to protect standards, they would have powers to proactively can cringingly awful adverts on grounds of protecting the nation's mental health. I'm sure many Reg commentards would willingly join a judging panel if asked.
So 34 people complained.
What percentage of the UK population is that? Approximately 5.67e-5 % which is completely negligible.
And then the broadcasters/advertisers/etc have to make changes?
I think there is a HUGE number of people who for example thinks soap operas on telly should be banned, as it is tasteless etc - this won't ever happen.
Please - OFT, if you get at least 1% of the population complaining, MAYBE then you can start asking for changes, but this absolute minority of people should be told to wake up, smell the coffee and grow up.
There are MUCH bigger issues in the country that needs to be addressed, and I am sure that there are THOUSANDS of people who agree on these changes, but said issues won't ever be addressed....
If only 34 people watched it, that would be quite high.. Right argument, wrong baseline.
Besides, I thought it was pretty much established fact that according to the Daily Mail metrics, one complaint = 1 trillion offended people. So we can safely assume that 34 trillion people were offended by this :-)
Ah, but that is the source of the (tiny number of) complaints. What happens is the missus insists on some "quality time" together (i.e., not staring at the back of the gamer's head), so you end up pretending to enjoy one of her fatuous soaps in order to placate her. Imagine how angry she gets when her "quality time" is interrupted by said Duke Nukem ad. The numbers say it all - a grand total of 34 gamers were being forced to suffer "quality time" during the run of this ad campaign!
I particularly liked "the ad appeared to link teenage girls with sexually provocative behaviour" - sounds like an awful lot of the teenage girls I went to school and university with. And frankly, if the worry is that someone's taking social protocol lessons from a post-watershed Duke Nukem advert, we may as well admit at that point that society as an overall structure has already failed completely.
I was going to make the same point, although I wasn't lucky enough as a teenager to know many, I know via my wife (and to be fair just looking around these days) that teenage girls are linked with sexually provacative behaviour.
If thats right or wrong is a different debate, but seeing it in an advert isn't going to change how things have been for at least the last 20 years, and more like the last 40 years.
I'm offended by all those ridiculous cosmetic ads. "Inspired by Gene Science" means precisely nothing. They could equally well say "inspired by potato waffles" or "inspired by the thought of gullible idiots giving us silly money for cold cream."
But these are ads that really, actually, do harm impressionable folk who end up believing that a box of hair dye from Asda will give you the results that Cheryl Cole has to rely on four hours with stylists and hair extensions to achieve...
Go figure. Then consider lodging a complaint with the ASA. ;)
I get mad at the toothpaste adverts as well. The ones where the actor says "I'm a dentist" while the tiny little text at the bottom says it's a dramatisation. That makes my blood boil because at least in cosmetics adverts pretty much everyone knows it's bullshit, right?
Can we organise some sort of mass complaint against a specific advert? 100 people or so should set a precedent against them.
The problem isn't so much the content though, its getting it rammed down your throat when watching the telly. If others want to go and buy the game or watch the trailer thats none of my business, but quite often you don't get a choice about what ads get shown to you until too late.
Its right and proper that the public have a say about what ads are appropriate, even if they are wrong in your not so humble opinion. If you want to go and watch porn, then do it in private. I don't want to be constantly surrounded by sexual images. But I guess I'm in a diffent catagory from most of the reg readership not being a 14 year old w@nker.
Lets be honest, this game was designed to be offensive, at least to some people. That's the whole point of it. Unfortunately, its offensive to everyone else as well 'cos its rubbish.
".....but quite often you don't get a choice about what ads get shown to you until too late...." Wrong on two levels.
Firstly, ad campaigns are targeted - they do a deal with Sky/Virgin/ITV/C4 to get certain timeslots on certain channels, aiming for certain demographics. For example, they won't put an ad for Duke Nukem on the buy-crap-jewellery-shopping channels as the audience are largely dim-witted women with zero interest in gaming. But, they will want to target times and channels where programs popular with the demographic are shown (Scyfy, Sky1, etc), so if you happen to like that same type of program then you're right in that demographic.
Secondly, you could watch ad-free TV such as the BBC. Well, if you have a low threshold for entertainment, that is. Or simply close your eyes and put your fingers in your ears the minute the ads come on. No-one is forcing you to watch pixellated gyrating lesbians with or without their nipples on display.
"sexist, violent and overly explicit and included imagery which was likely to harm children and vulnerable people" - so a fair advert for the game then.
The ASA have banned them from showing an advert again, for a game that's already tanked. How likely were they to throw good money after bad by showing the advert again anyway? Oh wait... This is Duke Nukem we're talking about, throwing good money after bad was in the project plan.
Full marks to the ASA for putting a brake on this disgraceful notion that teenaged girls might be sexually provocative.
This is clearly a step along the slippery slope of behaviour that could lead to copulation, pregnancy and the continuation of our species.
What is the world coming to?
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