ASA won’t take further action over Black Ops III Nuketown marketing mistake

Ben Parfitt

The Advertising Standards Authority has said that it won't be pursuing further measures against Activision concerning a mistake made in the marketing for Call of Duty III pre-order content.

Several fans were left unhappy after early marketing material suggested that the popular Nuketown multiplayer map would be offered to all who pre-ordered the shooter from GAME or Amazon. However, in reality the content was exclusive only to GAME.

Activision quietly amended its advertising to reflect this, although not before several customers had pre-ordered from Amazon and anger was swelling on social media.

However, as the ASA looks to take action in instances where violations are ongoing and not when they have been resolved, the organisation has told one fan – as reported by Eurogamer – that it will not be taking further action.

We received a number of complaints [and] many complainants felt they had been misled by the advertising material,” the ASA said. [Activision] confirmed that they had been made aware of the problem prior to us contacting them and had already taken action to remedy the situation.

They acknowledged that the website www.callofduty.com included Amazon in the retailer list for the Nuketown offer and explained that this was a mistake. The ad did make it clear that the offer was only available at participating retailers and that this was further supported by the retailers' own websites whereby GAME advertised their exclusive offer but Amazon made no reference to [it].

Having been made aware of the issues, Activision confirmed that they amended the UK ad on their website… and that they reviewed all online/social media messaging.

I should perhaps explain that the ASA's main sanctions lie in ensuring ads which appear likely to breach the Code are either amended or removed. Given the ads in question have already been amended, and in light of the steps Activision have taken to address this matter, we consider there would be little to be gained from further, formal investigation.”

Eurogamer adds that the reader who received the reply was also able to obtain a Nuketown code from Activision.

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