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N-Gage ads condemned by ASA

This is where Nokia caused widespread offence and distress to the public.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Nokia has received a slap on the wrist from Britain's Advertising Standards Authority for its N-Gage advertisements, and has been told not to repeat several of them following complaints that they promote violent behaviour.

The advertisements in question will be familiar to most people, as they were very widespread in the UK and elsewhere following the launch of the console last autumn. They all featured pictures of deserted locations, with straplines such as "This is where I cut them down to size" and "This is where I left Kate, Lucy and Michelle begging for more."

The ASA has now upheld a number of complaints about the advertisements, including allegations that several of them promote violence or bullying, or could cause serious offence due to sexual connotations.

Out of nine complaints, six were upheld, and the company has been asked not to repeat the advertisements. The three ads which escaped censure were the company's cinema treatment and its product specific advertisements for Tomb Raider and Red Faction.

The adjudications are unlikely to hurt Nokia particularly, since the campaign is six months old at this stage and isn't widely considered to have been particularly successful anyway - with the company undoubtedly none too pleased with the proliferation of spoof versions of the advertisements on the Internet which proclaim that "This is where my battery ran out" or other variants on the strapline.

However, it does give the company the somewhat dubious honour of being one of the only videogame companies to have such a range of negative adjudications against an advertising campaign since the heyday of Capcom's Resident Evil campaigns.

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