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Ad watchdog rules on PSP ads

Says they're all right really.

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

The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that a recent PSP poster campaign wasn't all that naughty despite receiving 45 complaints, and that Sony shouldn't be punished as a result.

The posters in question featured red text on a white background, with slogans including "Strong language and scenes of a sexual nature here". Some complainants argued that the slogan was offensive and unsuitable for children, and objected to the fact that some posters appeared near schools and churches.

Others said that the line "Your girlfriend's white bits here" encouraged the objectification of women, and one complainant reckoned the poster could encourage younger PSP owners to take and store indecent photos of other children.

Another suggested the "Take a running jump" tagline was irresponsible as it could encourage people to jump near traffic, and one complainant found "Saucy emails won't get you fired here" to be offensive.

In its defence, as detailed on the ASA website, ad agency TBWA/London said that each poster was designed to inform consumers about the PSP's multimedia functions.

TBWA argued that the ads were intended to be humourous and irreverent rather than offensive, adding that each poster featured "deliberately chosen language that maintained levels of taste and decency in all cases."

The ASA agreed that the ads did not contain any explicit language or images likely to cause widespread offence or harm to children. It was also noted that Sony took immediate action to remove the "Take a running jump" poster from tram and train stations after staff expressed safety concerns, and that the poster was unlikely to persuade people to jump near traffic. Tell that to our broken legs.

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