Stranglehold Advert is Banned: See it Here

Vengeance won't be anybody's

Posted by Staff
Yeah, well, my two guns will make you MORE dead!
Yeah, well, my two guns will make you MORE dead!
A TV advert for Midway's John Woo-produced shooter, Stranglehold has been banned due to breaching Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) codes. This comes after the ad had previously been cleared for broadcast post 7:30pm by another authority.

These breaches included clauses covering violence and cruelty... and health and safety. It follows a massive two complaints. The ASA states the following:

"A TV ad for "Stranglehold," a computer game, showed a prolonged shoot-out between four men. Voice-over stated "Honour is his code. Vengeance is his mission. Violence is his only option. John Woo presents Stranglehold. The next generation of action gaming has arrived". On-screen text during the shoot-out stated "Not actual game footage." More on-screen text at the end of the ad stated "JOHN WOO PRESENTS STRANGLEHOLD" alongside the logo for an "18" rating.

Issue
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.


Remember that Clearcast (formerly the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre) had approved the ad with the restriction that it should not be shown before 7.30 pm. In making its decision, Clearcast apparently, "...believed that, in the context of an ad for a video game, viewers appreciated that what was shown was fantasy and did not reflect real life.

"They said that bearing in mind the lack of interpersonal, contact violence and absence of blood or gore, they had approved the ad on the condition that it should not be shown before 7.30 pm.

"They believed this reduced the likelihood that younger children and younger, susceptible people would see the ad. They did not believe the ad was unsuitable for older children or that a later restriction was necessary."

The ASA, on the other hand, decided that, "... the shooting was almost continuous throughout the ad and considered that the violence depicted, although computer-generated, was realistic in appearance. We considered the voice-over, which stated "Honour is his code. Vengeance is his mission. Violence is his only option," suggested that it was honourable to seek revenge and that violence was an acceptable solution to a situation.

"We considered the ad was likely to be seen as encouraging and condoning violence."

Okay, so... Health and Saftey? Apparently this is Clause 6.7:

"6.7 Health and safety
Advertisements must not encourage or condone behaviour prejudicial to health and safety and advertisements must not use techniques that may directly harm viewers"

We've asked the ASA about this in the light of, for example, adverts for gas-guzzlers that entail driving to the edge of a roof, opening the car door and jumping out. Once again it appears that the authorities fully believe that games are played by seven year-olds. Frankly, if all ads that could incite 'susceptible people', we'd be left with one puppy and some toilet paper...


You can, if you are not too full of revenger passion, see the adjudication here.

The advert is, of course, available (via YouTube) below:


Comments

James 16 Jan 2008 11:12
1/11
Hang on didn't the BBC and other newscaster publish an article saying that giving male kids guns to play with is GOOD for them!!! ie it helps them develop certain skills...found the link >> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7163741.stm someone should tell the mother who complained that the add was doing her kid a favour and im sure anyone old enough to be playing stranglehold gew up playing Army with toy guns (or twigs if u were poor ) I propose we all start calling ofcom everytime skynews show's the Army in Afghanistan shooting and killing real people.

have you seen adverts for some movies?? they are 20x worse than this!! videogames are clearly public enemey number 1 just now, you would think Britain would be proud of it's games industry achievements like GTA, Lara croft, Rare etc
Daemon 16 Jan 2008 11:44
2/11
I was going to be cross with you, James, 'cos I'd quite like to see the ads for some movies being a little bit more careful about their graphic portrayals. And I wouldn't mind the news stating "you might want to look away" at the more bloody of its images, like it used to.

But I just watched the advert, and that is, quite frankly, harmless. It's fantasy gunplay, and in no way likely to lead even the stupidest of children to get into actual violent events. At least, any more than reading the bible might.
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Tim Smith 16 Jan 2008 11:47
3/11
James wrote:
have you seen adverts for some movies?? they are 20x worse than this!! videogames are clearly public enemey number 1 just now, you would think Britain would be proud of it's games industry achievements like GTA, Lara croft, Rare etc


Now then... we must all remember that video games are only played by young children who know no better. The ASA people are wise and all-knowing.

Actually, if it only takes two complaints to get an advert pulled - which ad(s) do SPOnG readers most want to see done away with?

Tim
James 16 Jan 2008 11:57
4/11
The advert breached rules 6.2 (Violence and cruelty) and 6.7 (Health and safety).

I'm sorry but I could find a breach in those rules in EVERY advert I watch if I was inclinded, health and safety?? they just made that up, I blame femenism.

cruelty? what about that johnwest advert where the bear gets kicked in the balls....and as if that wasnt bad enough, john west then steals his salmon!! thats crule and violent.

Man I'm off out to kick some bears in the testies......oh wait we extincted them all in Britain...sigh..
Daemon 16 Jan 2008 12:03
5/11
Tim Smith wrote:
Now then... we must all remember that video games are only played by young children who know no better.


Tim, I quite respect your opinion, but don't be fooled into that trap. Yes, the consensus view is that only kids play video games. And, yes, it's quite wrong. But the issue here isn't really about the subject of the advert, it's about how it's advertised, and who will be able to see it being advertised that way. I would object to toilet roll being advertised with an incautious use of violence as much as a video game, if either advert were made available to all viewing ages.

That said, as I stated above, this advert in no way represents an incautious use of violence, or encitement, encouragement or double-dog-daring to perform the acts it harmlessly portrays.
config 16 Jan 2008 12:15
6/11
Daemon wrote:
Tim Smith wrote:
Now then... we must all remember that video games are only played by young children who know no better.

Tim, I quite respect your opinion, but don't be fooled into that trap. Yes, the consensus view is that only kids play video games. And, yes, it's quite wrong.

Someone's had an ironyectomy.
Tim Smith 16 Jan 2008 12:21
7/11
Daemon wrote:
Tim Smith wrote:
Now then... we must all remember that video games are only played by young children who know no better.


Tim, I quite respect your opinion, but don't be fooled into that trap...


[IRONY FILTER OFF]

Daemon - I am well over the age of majority and have been playing video games, illegally in pubs, since the late 1970s and early 1980s.

I spend my days writing about video games. My nights playing them.

In fact, I wrote the story this thread is referring to.

I think it was a mad decision based on the fact that the ASA thinks that only kids play video games.

All the best

Tim
Daemon 16 Jan 2008 12:29
8/11
Tim Smith wrote:
[IRONY FILTER OFF]


Heh, it's been a long day already.

I'll get my hat. And eat it. ;)
Tim Smith 16 Jan 2008 12:33
9/11
Daemon wrote:
Tim Smith wrote:
[IRONY FILTER OFF]


Heh, it's been a long day already.

I'll get my hat. And eat it. ;)


No worries, man... text is often a lot less ironic than spokens... innit?

Cheers

Tim
haritori 16 Jan 2008 18:17
10/11
Tim Smith wrote:


Daemon - I am well over the age of majority and have been playing video games, illegally in pubs, since the late 1970s and early 1980s.


you forgot to emphasise "Well Over" which proceeded the word `age`.. (maybe CAPS or UNDERSCORE or even BOLD would of done)

hehe, JK Tim.
Шнур 16 Jan 2008 19:24
11/11
Кароче, приезжайте к нам на Троещину в Киев..Там тоже весело!!!
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