A “graphic” and “shocking” Kane & Lynch advertising campaign has been banned in the U.K.
The Advertising Standards Authority said it had upheld 26 complaints about both print and television ads for the game, according to MCV, and has ordered Eidos not to print or broadcast them again. In one double-page ad, a crying, gagged woman was shown with her head being held back by one of the duo, while a second poster advertisement included a quote from the Official Xbox 360 Magazine which said, “Grittier and nastier in tone than anything you’ve seen before, the violence here is visceral, brutal and very, very real.”
“The portrayal of violence it contained, with particular regard to the female hostage, was graphic and too shocking to be seen in an untargetted medium,” the ASA said of the first ad, while the second was “likely to be seen as condoning and glorifying real violence,” and “likely to cause serious or widespread offense.”
Of the television ad, the ASA said, “A “crunch” sound was heard as the butt of a rifle was brought down on what was suggested to be a victim’s head and another in which a man with a bloodied face appeared to have his throat cut; which we considered were likely to cause offense and distress to viewers despite the animated treatment.” The Authority said the ad violated its regulations on harm and offense, violence and cruelty and personal distress.
Eidos said it had not intended to cause offense, but defended the poster as “cinematic” and said the television ad, which was only aired after 9 pm, was “not… overly violent” relative to the subject matter of the game. The full complaint and the ASA response can be viewed here.