The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has instructed Electronic Arts not to reuse an advertising poster for PlayStation 2 and PSP title Burnout: Dominator
, claiming that it encourages dangerous driving and anti-social behavior.
The one-sheet advert pictures a crashed sports car and uses the tag line “Inner peace through outer violence”.
Electronic Arts has claimed that the advert was meant only to represent the experience within the game, with the tag line referring to its ability to act as a stress reliever. The company further pointed out that no people were pictured in the advertisement, which was clearly for a video game.
According to the ASA though, in comments reported by website vnunet.com
, “We considered that the vivid depiction of the crashed car and the burning tire, combined with the slogan's implication that people could achieve inner peace through acts of violence, was likely to cause serious or widespread offence".
"We considered that the ad's placement on the London Underground meant that it would be viewed by many, including young, people," continued the statement.
"We considered that the images of a car that seems to have crashed at high speed and a burning tire, together with a reference to violence, could be seen to condone a violent lifestyle, anti-social behavior or dangerous driving. We concluded that the ad was irresponsible."
The game was release in March on PlayStation 2, and then subsequently on PSP, and thus the advertising campaign has long since ended for the game – although Electronic Arts have been told not to reuse the poster in its current form.
The action by the ASA though comes amidst a string of censorship rulings in the UK and U.S., including the effective banning of Manhunt 2
, the withdraw from sale of Law & Order II
and the retraction of trailers for forthcoming game Dark Sector