Apparently, British television authorities pulled Acitivision’s latest Modern Warfare 3 advertisement for being “too violent for children to watch.” The ad, which aired during a Premier League football match, was yanked after two viewers got their knickers in a twist. According to The Guardian:
Two viewers complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that the TV campaign should not be aired at all during the day when children might see it.
One of the complainants said that their children, aged between two and four, had been frightened by the ad.
Now, I’m no statistician, but I think it’s probably safe to assume that those two complaints don’t accurately represent the opinions of the 7.5 million other Londoners who may have seen the ad. In America, this complaint wouldn’t have been deleted faster than you can say “we saved your ass in World War II,” but apparently the Brits take this type of thing very seriously.
Here’s how the ASA defended the decision to pull the ad:
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.
It’s actually kind of refreshing to know that some countries genuinely care about the kinds of content that kids have access to. And while most Americans will probably think that banning a commercial for containing “scenes of New York and London under military assault” is a little harsh, I would argue that the restriction allows parents to select the types of media that are appropriate for their children rather than forfeiting the decision to advertisers.
But while you’re banning things, check out that Downtown Abby show. It’s terrible.