Sony Pulls Killzone 2 Ads From Toronto Bus Kiosks

Sony has put an early end to a Killzone 2 marketing campaign which featured print ads on bus kiosks in Toronto.

The Toronto Star reports that a complaint from elementary school teacher Davis Mirza prompted the move. Mirza told the Star:

My kids, who come from a lot of different countries, who have to experience violence, who basically come here to seek shelter and safety, that’s the stuff they don’t need to see. [The ad features a] menacing head with glowing eyes… [and a war zone] like Iraq…


I don’t think that when you’re in Scarborough, where we’re having to deal on a constant basis with violence, that does anything to help promote any kind of community renewal or even responsibility.

Sony spokesman Kyle Moffat said that, going forward, Sony will establish an off-limits radius around schools for violent game ads. It’s unclear whether that decision is specific to Toronto.

Via: Kotaku

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  1. TK n Happy Ness says:

    Another example of why TTC bus fares are so expensive. These ads count towards their revenue. These "power walls" are supposed to help in preventing kids from smoking, yet you see thousands of cigarette butts and empty packs all over the place.

    When Jack Thompson runs his mouth, does anyone really care what he has to say anymore?

  2. TK n Happy Ness says:

    Only violence in Scarborough I would know of is around Malvern. In Toronto, it’s Jane and Finch.

    When Jack Thompson runs his mouth, does anyone really care what he has to say anymore?

  3. Wormdundee says:

     Honestly, Wolvenmoon. Every time I see a post of yours it scares me. 

    I cannot comprehend that you support this censorship. It’s ridiculous. The fact that Sony is caving in to a complaint from a single teacher and also declaring that they will make a ‘safe zone’ around schools is a tragedy. Censorship is never a good thing, and this form of self-censorship shows Sony as admitting that they did something wrong.

    These sorts of things always lead to further attempts at censorship.

    And my god what the hell is this? "High-violence ads in a high-violence area is asking for some highly bad publicity". Did you even look at what the ad is? It is a picture of a gas-masked head with glowing eyes. If that’s your definition of ‘high-violence’ then you have ideals that are highly disturbing to me.

  4. Chaplain99 says:

    Wait, so you’re saying that a bus that HAPPENS to pass by an elementary school is SPECIFICALLY marketing the product to 5th graders?

    "HEY! LISTEN!"

  5. Chaplain99 says:

    …seriously?  Whatever happened to the majority vote, here?  One person complains, and they pull the ads?


    "HEY! LISTEN!"

  6. Doom90885 says:

    This is the problem with censorship; it gets flat out ridiculous!!!!! I mean people in this day and age are just so ridiculously sensitive to everything they want everything to be rainbows and puppy dogs. And our governements instead of telling these people to grow up give into these ridiculous accusations to kiss ass of potetnials voters. I thought this was mainly a U.S. problem but it seems are neighbors to the north and our neigbors across the pond are getting just as bad. I also blame the game industries because they let everyone walk all over them instead of defending themselves when the media and anyone else jumps down their throats basically accusing them for everything that ever went wrong in human history, especially when their info is filled with half truths but mainly flat out lies. People better start growing a pair and stop whining every time they see something they find offensive because if this continues sooner or later the world will pretty much be vague and empty because evertything will be considered offensive.

  7. Magic says:

    I’m sure Sony made an instant decision about this and erred on the side of caution, they’re that keen to put down any cause of bad publicity just like with Little Big Planet.

    They must have some sort of Strike Team to handle events like this.

  8. Wolvenmoon says:

    Well, glad Sony caught that screw-up.

    High-violence ads in a high-violence area is asking for some highly bad publicity, ESPECIALLY if they were anywhere near this elementary school. Do any of you even remember what a 5th grader’s age is? 10-11 year olds! This game should NOT be marketed to them!

  9. jb_moskow says:

    Yes but what this sets is a bad precedent. I don`t have a problem if you want to ban an obscene or graphically violent ad from the bus shelters. That is defenitely allowed under the law. The point is, this advertisement would not be deemed “obscene“ by a rational person, and regardless of whether or not it`s in a school area is irrelevant. Sony has every right to remove the ad, but I don`t think they should and thereby give up any potential income gained from 17+ individuals viewing the ad, and this later influencing them to later purchase the game.

    Furthermore, by having Sony essentially `self-censor` their advertisements what I think you see here is a chilling effect, whereby Sony will essentially fear the negative publicity of placing these ads in other locations in the future, whereby they begin to create a larger dichotomy between locations that are acceptable and locations that are not. What is and is not an acceptable location based on the assumed demographics in that area? Is a city park acceptable? What about a movie theatre? What exactly is the threshold population that is required to say ‘too many minors may be viewing this ‘ad’?

    As I stated earlier I think that by backing down on this Sony are making themselves appear weak, and open to the next self-righteous idiot that trys to get their ads taken down. If Sony keeps these ads in place (I personally think it might be terrible marketing, and a waste of money, to put up ads initially in these areas, but it’s not my decision, and now that they’ve shoehorned themselves by running the ads, I don’t think they should back down) I think they’re affirming their right as a company to run decent ads anywhere the may please, as allowed in a capitalist society.


  10. DarkSaber says:

    Nothing wrong with a self-regulatory policy of not advertising violent games around schools. They aren’t supposed to be for children anyway, remember?


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  11. jb_moskow says:

    WOW WTF, this is just nuts. I can’t believe I’m reading this because almost everyday when I walk to class at the University of Toronto I pass by one of these that is staring right at me at the corner of Harbord & St. George (any torontonians out there will know where I’m talkin’ about). And the thing is…it’s a great ad! It almost always catches my eye, and after like the 20th time seeing it this past week, I started to give it a closer look, and even saw the background and stuff.

    …So because people are scared of something somewhere it should automatically be banned… you just won the internets sir…

    And lol, for any Toronto people who actually understand the violence going on in Scarborough, when you have an area of the city where there is a large population of low-income families, you’re going to see the trend of parental neglect, gang violence, and the like. So why don’t people stop blaming other crap (i.e. "scary" videogame posters) and actually determine and try to solve what the actual problems are that lead to this violence.

    When Sony backs down from petty threats like this, they are showing an image of weakness, that is just going to be exploited by the next person that comes along trying to pick an easy fight to score `points`in the community.



  12. Chaltab says:

    Eh, I figure this makes sense. It’s Sony voluntary moving these posters, not some sort of Canadian crack down on violent game ads. And if the kids are actually from war-torn areas, who knows what horrible things they’ve seen and could feasibly make them anxious.

  13. hellfire7885 says:

    I don’t see what’s so offensive about the ad.

    The guy pictures is evil, evil soldiers are typically depicted as wearign menacing gasmasks and having glowing red goggles. They are meant to look menacing/itimidating.

    I mean, if they pictured a cute pony instead, it’d just be disturbing.

  14. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Wow. Menacing indeed. I don’t think I’ve ever been so frightened in my life. Gasp.

    That’s sarcasm BTW…

  15. Wolvenmoon says:

    She said it looked LIKE Iraq, it’s an M rated video game being advertised in bus kiosks that are apparently near an elemantary school. That ad needed to come down, the other ads in the city? I don’t know. If they had a violent crime wave then it DEFINITELY needed to come down. Just what we need…:

    "Shooter kills 15 outside of bus station in front of violent video game advertisement because he must be a gamer because he can shoot a gun, more on this at 6, along with a brief X-ray of my pea-sized newsperson brain."

    Seriously though, these kinds of ads shouldn’t be out in public like that.

  16. mdo7 says:

    I guess I can take out the link on the shoutbox *removing the link from shoutbox*


    Saw this on Kotaku and Joystiq earlier.  Wow, just wow.  How stupid can people get?


    "My kids, who come from a lot of different countries, who have to experience violence, who basically come here to seek shelter and safety, that’s the stuff they don’t need to see. [The ad features a] menacing head with glowing eyes… [and a war zone] like Iraq…"


    Because Killzone 2 took place in Iraq.  No, it doesn’t.  It take place on their home planet.  Lady, this is a video game.  Your 4 and 5 grades student play video game (even violent one).  Geez, she pissed me off. 

  17. CyberSlammer says:

    Why not let the posters stand?  We need to get our children used to NWO soldiers when they start invading our towns anyway, if kids see them on posters and in games they’ll welcome the soldiers into their homes with open arms right to the FEMA camps.

  18. gamadaya says:

    Well, if you’re afraid of the killzone head, you’re a pussy. I don’t care what grade you are in or where you come from. But Sony shouldn’t be advertising that game so close to schools anyway. It is rated M after all.


    Internet troll > internet paladin

  19. Mech says:

    A "menacing head with glowing eyes"?! That is TERRIBLE. They should be ashamed of themselves for advestising with such terrible and horrible images.

    A head with glowing eyes… ugh, I’m digusted with Sony. I think I may have to write an angry letter.

  20. Mechadon says:

    I just passed one of those ads coming home this evening. Even though I’ve seen many more explicit ads in Toronto, I thought: "someone’s going to have a problem with that.”

    Didn’t expect to be reading about it here though.

  21. Kajex says:

    WTF? A "menacing head with glowing eyes"? Why the hell not ban advertisements for Terminator, while we’re at it? The next thing you know the teacher will try explaining that a fictional setting is somehow more offensive and more stressful than an actual "war zone like Iraq".

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