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UK Burnout advert 'irresponsible'

UK Burnout advert 'irresponsible'

The advert for Burnout: Dominator has been labelled 'irresponsible' and is being withdrawn by EA.

An advert for the upcoming PlayStation 2 game, Burnout: Dominator from EA, has been labelled as 'irresponsible' by the Advertising Standards Authority here in the UK.

The advert in question was the subject of thirty-seven complaints and features a crashed car under the slogan 'Inner peace through outer violence'. An ASA spokesperson said of the advert;

"The complainants described the advert as offensive as it condoned and was likely to encourage violence, dangerous driving and anti-social behaviour such as vandalism... The Advertising Standards Authority determined that the implication of the advertisement was likely to cause serious or widespread offence."

EA has, as reported by GameIndustry, decided to withdraw and redesign the advert in order to please the ASA, who have kindly (and somewhat patronisingly) offered advice in the matter of designing national adverts.

To us, it seems a little pointless to kick up such a fuss for an advert for a game which was released last spring on a system which is now a generation out of date - but then again, the advert doesn't seem that bad to us when you consider some of the other advertising mistakes which other companies have made in the past.

The advert recall comes just a week after the BBFC banned the multi-format Manhunt 2 from being released in the UK, citing " sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged" as the main reason for the ban.

Is the recall of this advert another sign of a growing nanny culture, or is it reasonable to recall an advert which causes offence to a minority? Make your mind up and tell us your conclusions in our forums.

31 Comments

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Lazarus Dark 28th June 2007, 13:00 Quote
37 complaints? That sounds like nothing to me. I figure they get that many complaints just for your average mcdonalds or hamburger helper commercial.
Jamie 28th June 2007, 13:09 Quote
This is just the media trying to make a mountain out of the violence and illegal activities portrayed in videogames. If they had their way we wouldn't be able to do anything illegal in a games, all we would be able to play is nintendogs.
C-Sniper 28th June 2007, 13:13 Quote
i remember a case like this in the US where it took over 5000 complaints just to pull down the sign. Whats up with Britain getting their panties in a wad over all this anyway?
Gunsmith 28th June 2007, 13:28 Quote
this **** is getting out of hand.
Hugo.B 28th June 2007, 14:06 Quote
It's a good thing it was banned, the statement "Inner peace through outer violence" is fallacious.

Think about it.
Did any person's violence ever achieve inner peace?

Maybe after they'd been in jail long enough to think about their actions, but not otherwise.


H.B.
[USRF]Obiwan 28th June 2007, 14:11 Quote
Well...

If you crash your car with extreme violence. You will probably be resting peacefuly afterward...


Something like this
CardJoe 28th June 2007, 14:28 Quote
It think its ridiculous this advert is banned and yet motorway billboards etc, which cause distractions and ACTUAL car crashes every day are still allowed...
Hugo.B 28th June 2007, 14:37 Quote
Quote:
It think its ridiculous this advert is banned and yet motorway billboards etc, which cause distractions and ACTUAL car crashes every day are still allowed...
The ASA's jurisdiction merely makes sure that adverts are: "legal, decent, honest and truthful" so an ad. can be all of those and still distracting enough to cause someone to crash.

I don't think that EA's ad. come under truthful nor decent.


H.B.
DXR_13KE 28th June 2007, 14:59 Quote
another game to be banned?
it can defined as " sustained and cumulative casual road rage in the way in which these accidents are committed, and encouraged"
This game can be blamed on the rampant increase in accidents.
BAN IT!!!!!! /sarcasm
TheColdLord 28th June 2007, 15:30 Quote
There is no point in banning something just cuz it had 30 complaints....probably most of them where from the same place :)) . And the guy who crushed the car....well I think he would have crushed it for another slogan had this not been present...
CardJoe 28th June 2007, 16:14 Quote
ASA haven't banned it at all, merely issued an opinion that it was irresponsible. EA then chose to recall it.
ralph.pickering 28th June 2007, 17:16 Quote
<DevilsAdvocate>I'm not sure that it's entirely true to say we've got a growing nanny culture. Really, if you think about it, a lot more is acceptable now than it was in the 50s for example. And I think it's probably necessary for government to put the brakes on things a little as game and film manufacturers are consistently pushing the limits of what society finds acceptable.

Sure we can winge about being told by the powers that be what is and isn't acceptable, but equally I'd say that everyone on this forum, no matter how open minded, has certain limits and will be exceedingly offended by something. And I would suggest that you generally should have the right to go about your life without offensive things being put right in front of you. And if the advert offended 37 people enough to get off their collective arses and complain about it, it probably offended a hell of a lot more who couldn't be bothered. When something is thrust into your living room like advertising, it has to be acceptable to the vast majority of people. If it's something like a game that you have to go out and buy, knowing full well what the content is, then obviously the bar can be raised a fair bit higher.</DevilsAdvocate>
iwog 28th June 2007, 17:31 Quote
Gotta agree with Hugo B. "Inner peace through outer violence"is a stupid slogan. Whilst it may sound all fancy and 'Konfusush say' (sorry about spelling) and aptly sum up the ideal of the game, taken out of context its incredibly stupid. The ignorant masses, and unfortunatley the UK has lots of them, wont assosciate it with "just an advertising slogan" and will probably take it as written law (worst case scenario).

I really cant see how someone in EA's marketing department didn't go "you know this slogan may give out the wrong idea and suggests that violence is a good thing". Dont get me wrong i love a bit of violence in my games as much as the next guy but the slogan doesn't say VG violence it just says "be violent and aggressive and have inner peace". Not smart, not cool.
2JSC 28th June 2007, 18:39 Quote
This is gonna be one of those years where there are gonna be a lot of complaints about videogames because there really isn't much for the news and gov to complain about. Its something to kind of bring the polititions "into the home" when they start talking about stuff like this... I know the article in question is over in England, but just wait, it will start to ramp up over here as well, especially since this is an ellection year.
DXR_13KE 28th June 2007, 19:46 Quote
i agree with inner peace through violence only if it is fictitious violence. especially in games.
Spaceraver 28th June 2007, 22:15 Quote
Hmm, I remember when you had the option of turning damage off in a game, be it gore or cars blowing up. What happened with that?? Give me back the option to choose my level of violence.. THX
DXR_13KE 28th June 2007, 22:52 Quote
give me the option of putting the violence level through the roof.
sinizterguy 28th June 2007, 23:11 Quote
PCBS.
Neogumbercules 29th June 2007, 00:14 Quote
I vote we change the topic to be about the link in the article. I don't think I've lol'd like that in a long time.

Not to be outdone by Coke when Pepsi started a marketing campaign in Taiwan, the translation of the Pepsi slogan "Come Alive with the Pepsi Generation" came out as "Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead."
Perforated 29th June 2007, 01:45 Quote
I'm with the ASA, actually. They're not picking on the game at all, just an advert in the mainstream media with a message that runs contra to the current driving responsibility ads.

We all complain about being victimised, but in this case, I think the ad itself was doing the community more harm than the authorities' attempts to ban the ad. Just the ad. The ASA can't ban a game.

OK, to us the ad is witty, but out of context it's offensive to some folk, and while I'm all in favour of offending people, it should at least have some other value... this doesn't. As the article said, the game was released a while back anyway. That's not a reason to defend the ad, quite the contrary! It's too late for the ad to serve its intended purpose, and it's bugging people, so why bother with it?

37 complaints is actually reasonably high here, especially for a low-circulation ad (well, I haven't seen it yet).
Take the recent Eastenders furore. A woman's chained to a bed & threatened with a caesarian, with no pre-show warning, high percentage of young viewers... 80 complaints. 37 for an advert, then, is pretty huge.
I'd say therefore it's indicative of a relatively high proportion of people who see the ad being irked by it. 5000 people in the US? Well, the US is BIGGER. Also, the US culture is more... outspoken.

Sure, billboards might be worse... so they're bad. That doesn't make this good.
Perforated 29th June 2007, 01:52 Quote
Oh, and I'll add that we're trying to combat "gang culture" over here, apparently... frankly, I don't want ANYTHING hitting the screens for a while that appears to glorify it. I'm sick to death of the govt. looking for excuses for stop & search legislation, ID cards, banning knife sales (not just offensive knives, practical ones, I actually DO have a legit reason for carry. A Spyderco Assist that's the most impractical object you could imagine for offensive use, but utterly illegal apparently)... I'd love to see a little media responsibility & similar, let's not exacerbate matters and provide excuses. If there was any value to the ad I'd support it, but for the sake of sales? What are you supporting here, exactly?
iwog 29th June 2007, 08:02 Quote
My mate got stopped for carrying a leatherman, crazy thing is he's a stage tech, had all the id to say he was one, even had the programme to show he'd just finished a show. Still got stopped and given the spanish inquisition. So yeah i understand your frustration at the government. But still "inner peace through outer violence" is a retarded slogan.
ralph.pickering 29th June 2007, 12:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinizterguy
PCBS.

Am I the only one who doesn't know what this means? Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics, Pacific Coast Bus Service, Polychlorinated biphenyls, Post Critical Belief Scale? Help me out here!
CardJoe 29th June 2007, 12:49 Quote
Printed Circuit Boards.
iwog 29th June 2007, 13:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralph.pickering
Am I the only one who doesn't know what this means? Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics, Pacific Coast Bus Service, Polychlorinated biphenyls, Post Critical Belief Scale? Help me out here!

I'm going with Political Correctness Bull S**t
Hugo.B 29th June 2007, 13:10 Quote
Quote:
My mate got stopped for carrying a leatherman, crazy thing is he's a stage tech, had all the id to say he was one, even had the programme to show he'd just finished a show. Still got stopped and given the spanish inquisition.
Huh? I'm concerned! I carry two knives with me everywhere, one for rough work, and another for finer stuff.
And one is lockable.


H.B.
CardJoe 29th June 2007, 13:25 Quote
I too carry a selection of knives on my person and have done ever since I worked as a chainsaw salesman. The standard swiss army mountaineer has two blades, but I also used to carry a small thumb-flick knife and torch on my keyring for, as hugo says, rough work. I also have a leatherman, but I leave it at home with my sword :D

Your friend obviously got stopped for having the knife on display - not illegal, but it'll get you stopped. I keep my knife in my pocket and haven't had a trouble with it in years. Buy him a shirt and tell him to keep it untucked, thus hiding the leatherman pouch.
Hugo.B 29th June 2007, 13:29 Quote
You're a man! ^^^
I carry an Opinel No.8(high carbon blade), and a generic non-locking wooden handled knife bought at a fishing town for £7.00.


H.B.
DXR_13KE 29th June 2007, 15:05 Quote
i have with me about all the time 3 multi tools, a swiss card, a small multi tool in the form of pliers and a generic swiss knife, they are very useful, especially in use with electronics.
CardJoe 29th June 2007, 15:14 Quote
Opinel aye? I have an Opinel 7 at home I think, nice long slightly curved blade, I had to get one after I lived with a german guy at University who used his for everything. Eating, cooking, hunting - everything. I wouldn't have been surprised if he wiped his ass with it, the crazy ex-tank commander.
sinizterguy 29th June 2007, 16:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralph.pickering
Am I the only one who doesn't know what this means? Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics, Pacific Coast Bus Service, Polychlorinated biphenyls, Post Critical Belief Scale? Help me out here!
Quote:
Originally Posted by iwog
I'm going with Political Correctness Bull S**t

Mine was Politically Correct Bull S**t but the above quote conveys what it means.
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