newspaper is reporting that an advert for an unnamed Sony PlayStation game, “…used a computer-generated image of a young girl with a sexy voiceover that referred to ‘one-on-one girl action fantasy’”.
Says the paper:
”The Advertising Standards Board upheld complaints against the advertisements at its November meeting, saying they breached advertising guidelines about the portrayal of sexuality.
A source close to the board, which comprises 16 members of the business, arts, sports and academic communities and members of the public, said it had been keen to combat criticism that it was "soft" on the sexualisation of children.
OK, the unnamed game is, in fact, Tekken: Dark Resurrection
and it's on the PSP, not the Playstation proper. And here’s what the complaint amounted to according to the Advertising Standards Board itself:
DESCRIPTION OF THE ADVERTISEMENT
This television advertisement for a computer game begins in the style of late-night “adult” commercials and opens with a female voiceover
asking “Guys. Are you looking for a little one-on-one girl action fantasy?” As computer-generated images of three young women appear on screen the voice continues “Well Lili, Anna and Christie are waiting for you right now”. A short burst of game play is shown with martial arts action and noises, and a continuation of the female voiceover in an aggressive tone “Waiting to kick your **** ass, you ****. C’mon.”
Comments which the complainant/s made regarding this advertisement included the following:
The girl looks under the age of consent…That she is a computer-generated image is, I believe, irrelevant to the issue that an image of a child is being sexualised.
THE ADVERTISER’S RESPONSE
Comments which the advertiser made in response to the complaint/s regarding this advertisement included the following:
Our intent was humour not offence.
The premise of the ad is indeed taking the well-known “late-night” adult advertising and subverting it, so that rather than being passive women, the characters are shown as dominant and assertive over the type of man that might have fallen for the initial set-up. With the intended take-out being that the characters “punish” male viewers who “fall” for the advertising, by threatening to beat them up – NOT provide and sexual gratification.
It is also our understanding that all of the characters within the game are intended to be adults. There was certainly no intention to sexualise a child within the advertising.
The Advertising Standards Board (“Board”) considered whether this advertisement breaches section 2 of the Advertiser Code of Ethics (the “Code”).
The Board viewed the advertisement several times and considered whether the advertisement contravened the provision of the Code dealing with sex, sexuality and nudity.
In particular, the Board considered the first shot of the advertisement which depicted a computerised image of a young girl. The Board agreed that the girl - although clearly a computer-generated image – appeared to be well under the age of sexual consent.
The Board then considered the image in the light of the voiceover which the Board considered to be highly sexual in nature. The Board agreed that the sexual nature of the voiceover strongly sexualised the image of a child. The Board did not accept that the computer-generated nature of the image was relevant to whether or not it depicted a sexualised child. The Board considered that the use of an image of a child in an overtly sexual context was a depiction that was not sensitive to the relevant audience, or any audience.
The Board found that the advertisement contravened the section Code 2.3 of the code dealing with sexuality.
The Board therefore upheld the complaint.”