The Advertising Standards Authority — the UK-based advertising group that removed posters for Burnout in London last year — has banned the above commercial for Midway’s not-very-good shooting game, Stranglehold. The commercial sees a digital representation of Chow Yun Fat running around with criminals, all guns blazing — and it was just too much for sensitive eyes, as Spong found out:
1. One viewer believed the ad glorified violence and gun crime and that it was a dangerous incitement to susceptible people.
2. The second viewer, whose three-year-old son had seen the ad, challenged whether it was acceptable for transmission before 9 pm, when young children were likely to see it.
I’ll agree that while we have this concept of a post-9pm “watershed,” adverts like this have no real need to run during the daytime, but I’m not sure the outright banning is required. The whole “glorification of violence,” thing is rather played out and it seems like the only people affected by it are those least likely to commit a violent crime due to their being too busy writing angry letters to advertising authorities. Considering you can see the entire Die Hard series of movies on British TV though, I can’t help but wonder why this one commercial is so bad, outside of the fact that some people just have too much time on their hands.
To put on a more snarky face, however, perhaps it’s best that any knowledge of this game existing be kept to a minimum. In complying with the wishes of the easily offended, the ASA may have unwittingly saved some potential customers a bitter disappointment when they buy a game that is nowhere near as interesting as the commercial makes it seem.