The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a TV ad for Microsoft's Xbox 360 amid fears that it glamorised street racing.
The ad features a chase through a busy city centre, in which the car weaves in and out of the traffic. Text at the bottom of the screen states 'Professional drivers. Closed course'.
The car being chased rolls and two other cars pull up. The driver gets out of the car, removes his balaclava and gives it to one of the pursuers and is given a police badge in return.
The pursuer puts the balaclava on and gets into the car. The first man covers his eyes and starts to count. The ad ends with the tag line 'Jump in. Xbox 360'.
The ASA received a single complaint from a viewer who believed that the ad was irresponsible because it glamorised "street racing" and might encourage viewers, young men in particular, to drive dangerously.
Advertising agency McCann Erickson replied on behalf of Microsoft, stating that Microsoft is committed to responsible console gaming and would not intentionally show irresponsible behaviour in an ad.
However, the ASA was concerned that the ad gave the impression that reckless street car racing is exciting and fun, and considered that this was compounded by the congratulations offered to the driver at the end of the 'race'.
It concluded that the ad glamorised street car racing and could be seen to condone dangerous driving, and has banned Microsoft from airing it again in the UK.
The ruling is the second to go against Microsoft for an Xbox 360 ad. The first was for an ad depicting a gun fight in Grand Central Station in New York.
Xbox 360 ad banned in the UK
By Staff Writers on Apr 5, 2007 2:46PM