Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Microsoft's 360 Ad Banned in the UK

Microsoft was forced to pull an ad from British TV after there were fears that the ad could encourage illegal street racing behavior. The ad featured two drivers weaving between traffic in pursuit of each other and culminates in one driver crashing. Despite the disclaimer at the bottom of the screen warning viewers not to try this at home and that the ad is a dramatisation, the UK Advertising Standards Agency banned the ad for glorifying street racing. Curiously, the ad is not for a specific game, but just for the Xbox 360.

MS's Street Racing Ad Banned

The ASA ruled that the advertisement breached health and safety and driving standards rules. So if a movie showed a car chase in its preview, would that be unacceptable? It is hard to see how an advertisement for a video game system could encourage driving violations - you'd think if a particular game encouraged this bad behavior then an advertisement could have the same effect, but that is not the case here. I wonder how important it was that the ad related to video games as opposed to some other area of entertainment. I doubt the ads for Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift got pulled.

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