March 9th 2009
Tiga has submitted a formal complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority about the Campaign4Life print advertisement. The advertisement, which is supported by Cancer Research, the British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK, depicts a young boy holding a PlayStation controller beneath the words“Risk an early death. Just do nothing.”
Richard Wilson, CEO of Tiga, said:
“This advert is absurd and insulting in equal measure. To imply that playing a video game leads to a premature rendezvous with the Grim Reaper is a non-sequitur of colossal proportions. Alcohol and drug abuse, smoking, obesity and involvement in violent crime are forms of behaviour that risk an early death.
“In contrast, many video games are mentally stimulating, potentially educational and social and some involve physical exercise.‘Brain Training’,‘Wii Fit’ games or‘Civilisation’,‘Singstar’ and‘Buzz’ are cases in point.
“This advert is offensive to the 30,000 people who work in the UK’s video games industry, particularly the 10,000 who work in games development. Game developers are typically intelligent, very qualified and creative individuals who work to produce high quality games for people’s entertainment. They are not in the business of driving people to an early grave.
“With nearly a quarter of men and women and almost a fifth of 2 to 5 year olds in England obese we clearly need to encourage a more active lifestyle and healthy diet. It should be possible to achieve this objective without misrepresenting a creative industry of 30,000 people.”
A complaint against the advert can be made to the Advertising Standards Authority at: http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/how_to_complain
Notes to editors:
1. About Tiga
Tiga is the national trade association that represents games developers in the UK and Europe. It has 154 members, the majority of whom are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. Various outsourcing companies, technology businesses and university departments are also members. Tiga’s vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. It focuses on three sets of activities: political representation, generating media coverage and developing services that enhance the competitiveness of members. This means that Tiga members are effectively represented in the corridors of power, their voice is heard in the media and they receive benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities.
2. For more information, please contact: Dr Richard Wilson, CEO, Tiga, M: +44 (0) 7875 939643, E: email@example.com
3. For statistics on obesity in England, see Healthy weight, healthy lives: a cross-Government strategy for England (HM Government, 2008), p. iii.