A PlayStation 3 advert which used images of a knife and gun broke industry rules because it risked glamorising violence, a watchdog said today.
The internet advert showed a character called Kovac and the words: ‘Kovac mercenary or misunderstood?’
He appeared brandishing a knife alongside a caption which said ‘This is living’.
After investigating complaints about several PlayStation 3 adverts, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the Kovac online advert breached rules relating to responsibility and violence.
The watchdog criticised an ‘underlying tone of violence in the ad’ which could be seen to condone or glamorise violence or anti-social behaviour.
It asked Sony – the firm behind the PlayStation console brand – to amend the content of its future internet adverts to avoid this happening again.
The offending internet advert was shown on Yahoo! and BT internet mail.
Responding to the investigation, Yahoo! said the advert targeted registered users aged over 18 years old who had given their date of births when registering their accounts.
Yahoo! had asked Sony to produce a toned-down version of the advert because of its concerns about the inclusion of weapons.
The ASA rejected complaints about a number of other PlayStation 3 adverts shown on TV, online and in the national press.
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