The Advertising Standards Authority has concluded that videogame adverts in the UK do not breach the body’s guidelines for fair promotion.
The ASA’s review of the subject was carried out following recommendations set by Dr Tanya Byron in her 2008 Safer Children in a Digital World report. The agency had monitored 241 game adverts that ran from April to June last year on TV and radio, at the Cinema, on billboard posters and print pieces. Only a single advert was found to be in breach of advertising.
The ASA also stated that a majority of the adverts made a clear reference to each product’s age rating, save for those appearing on radio. In regards to content, the ASA claimed that most of the adverts were complementary to the age-rating of each product.
“Depiction of violence was a strong theme, but it was often stylised, fantasy-like and clearly separated from reality,” read the ASA’s report, which concluded that the time allocation and placement of the adverts were not considered to be an issue to resolve.
“The editorial content of some of the magazines examined contained images of violence more graphic than any of the images in the ads,” the ASA said.
The results from the ASA go against the reasons for conducting its review, as Dr Byron’s report considered whether mature imagery from game adverts had been too frequently placed in view of children, and urged there to be a report to explore the issue further.
“The issue raised by Dr Byron of children’s exposure to violent or inappropriate imagery in video games is an important one,” says Christopher Graham, director general of the ASA. “Our survey is encouraging as it suggests that video games are being advertised responsibly and in line with the codes.”
Last month EA was forced to remove its Tiger Woods 09 TV spot campaign after complaints that the footage had deceptively mixed footage from both 360 and Wii versions of the game.
Recently, the ASA stated that the controversial “There’s probably no God” bus ad campaign by the British Humanist Association was not in breach of the advertising code.