To clean up your daily watching, television watchdogs have banned an advert for popular first person shooter Modern Warfare 3 from daytime screening for being a tad violent. The advert was deemed not suitable for underage watchers, with buildings exploding and catching fire, helicopters firing rockets and people firing bullets at other people with the tagline ,”The world as you knew it is gone. How far will you go to bring it back?” It’s understandable why some would want the advert banned, but does it really change anything?
The decision to ban the advert came when the Advertising Standards Agency received complaints from two viewers when the ad was shown during a Premier League football match on English sport channel Sky Sports 1 back in November 2011 . One of the viewers stated that their children, aged between two and four, were frightened by the advert. The ad was previously cleared by agency Clearcast, stamping it with a timing restriction which would only play the advert adjacent to programmes suitable for over 16’s.
Activision responded to the investigation, ruling that showing the ad during the football game and not before or immediately after a children’s programme that it fell within the restrictions set. The Advertising Standards Agency didn’t see it in the same light as the publisher and upheld the complaints filed and accused the company of breaking the code of conduct. They said in a statement:
The ad contained scenes of extensive gunfire, explosions and destruction, and these scenes were accompanied by sound effects of weapons being fired, explosions and soldiers shouting. We also noted the ad featured music in the background which sounded like a low-pitched siren and which added to the dramatic nature of the scenes. We considered that the scenes of violence and destruction, together with the sound effects and music, could cause distress to some children who might see the ad.
Although we noted that the ad was only shown during the football, we concluded that it was inappropriate for broadcast during the day when young children might be watching and the ex-kids restriction was insufficient. We considered a post 7.30pm restriction would have been more appropriate.
Don’t expect to see any explosion filled Modern Warfare 3 adverts before 7.30 pm soldiers. With the game out since November last year and the advert mainly encouraging pre-orders for the game, I doubt the publisher will be that worried about the new restrictions. Modern Warfare 3 is available now for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. Let us know your thoughts on the banned advert in the comment section below.