On the PlayStation 3, the majority of video games include violent and graphic scenes, which makes advertising the titles to a broader audience rather tricky. For Sony’s The Fight, it seems like the publisher may have gone too far, with an advert for the game being banned in the UK.
The UK’s independent regulator of advertising, The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned an advertisement recently for The Fight: Lights Out. The ad was said to have depicted violence not suitable for children, and was also accused of condoning racist violence. The ASA banned the ad based on the violence depicted, but did not accept the claim of there being a racial issue involved. The ad shows a light skinned man in three different fighting stances, and in the final stance holding a darker skinned man in a headlock, ready to punch him in the face. The ad is pictured below:
As you can see, there is no blood shown, or anything any more violent than what can be seen on children’s shows depicting super heroes fighting bad guys. The two men may be of different skin tones, but there is absolutely no implication that this is the reason they’re fighting. In the background you can see four people of all different skin tones clearly having fun on the couch.
The ad received a whole eight complaints that the imagery showed “graphic violence”, two of which highlighted the potentially racist aspect of the advert.
According to Campaign, Sony Computer Entertainment UK responded to the complaints saying they had “taken steps to ensure that the images were not graphic” and that it did not target children within the ad. Considering the lack of violent contact, lack of blood, and lack of children in the ad, these claims appear valid. However, the ASA still decided to ban the ad, based on that it may “condone or encourage violent behavior”.
Were the complaints regarding the ad justified, or do you think that some people are just too sensitive? Let us know in the comments below.