A while back, some assholes lashed out at Activision and Kobe Bryant for the famous Call of Duty: Black Ops television commercial. ESPN proved that it should stick to sports by chatting absolute crap about the situation, but Activision has bit back, calling the networks hypocrites for airing the ads that they later whined about.
“I’m going to put it in air quotes, which you can’t see, but the ‘controversy’ surrounding Kobe Bryant I find very hypocritical,” says publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg. “Those same networks that are now questioning Kobe’s inclusion in this had no problem accepting the ad and approving the ad, and accepting the dollars to run the ad on their networks. Are they being irresponsible to their fan base by running the ad on their networks? Because if it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander. I find that to be very hypocritical.
“I also think that there’s a little bit of a maturation process going on for video games overall where certain people still don’t see them as mainstream entertainment, but I wonder if Kobe or Jimmy Kimmel had been involved for the marketing of a new Tom Clancy movie if they would have gotten the same response. I feel like this is still seen by some people as some sort of subculture or niche product, and the performance in the marketplace demonstrates that this is the epicenter of mainstream entertainment.”
On the one hand it could be taken as hypocritical, but it is also an example of editorial and marketing not working together, which is actually a rather healthy thing. Of course, if any pundits seriously believed their network was airing socially dangerous ads, you’d think they’d have the spine to make a stand and leave. So either way, it’s at the very least a case of grade-A bullshit.