Lack of Game Biz Contributions NOT Behind “Early Death” Ads

With no end in sight to gaming press coverage, Change4Life’s "Early Death" ad campaign  seems at little risk for a premature demise of its own.
In the latest development, Business4Life, a coalition of companies formed to support the U.K. government health campaign, released a statement to GoNintendo which would appear to debunk last week’s speculation that the now-infamous ad was payback for a lack of game industry donations:

Business4Life has not donated any money to the Department of Health or the Change4Life movement. The coalition has pledged a £200 million in-kind contribution to support Change4Life through marketing, branding and advertising activity.

A glance at Business4Life’s website seems to support this view. The B4L statement also refutes any editorial influence over the imagery used in the campaign’s adverts.
Perhaps more significantly, the well-known video game version of the "Early Death" ad, in which a young boy grasps a game controller, also has a junk food counterpart:

In fact, there is another poster as part of this campaign of a girl eating a cupcake with the strapline “is a premature death so tempting” which is running side by side the ad with the boy playing a video game, and we were only made aware of this once the ads were launched.”

Look here for full motion versions of both ads.
-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. Michael Chandra says:

    The cupcake one is a question. The game one is a statement. The first one doesn’t impress me at all, the second is a shocker.

  2. HyperEnergy says:

    Instead of bringing awareness to healthy eating and exercise, they want to show that junk food and entertainment are causing the problem. Nevermind the fact that cupcakes taste good and thus are a good compliment to a birthday party, or that video games promote problem solving and exploration, among many other things.

    Not to mention I don’t see any mention of moderation on those ads.

    Ultimately though, any campaign that uses negative advertising is a waste of money. Period.

  3. Andrew Eisen says:

    That boy is risking an early death.  From extreme boredom.

    Seriously, someone get him a more entertaining game, stat!


    Andrew Eisen

  4. Anthrax says:

    Both these ads are misleading and stupid. I’d like to see someone make an ad talking about how many people have been killed because of the bible.

  5. DarkSaber says:

    Although I notice it’s a cake they chose as junk food, not a hamburger (the REAL symbol of junk food and childhood obesity) such as you might get from a McDonalds, one of the financial backers of this campaign.

    I guess Mr. Kipling was behind on his payments! 😛


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

  6. MaskedPixelante says:

    I think Valve should sue. Come on, "Change4Life", "Left 4 Dead", you can’t escape the similarities.

    —You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

  7. DeusPayne says:

     So is their defense that they unfairly demonize other things, so it’s alright to do it to video games?

  8. Praetorian says:

    While it’s nice they have another point of view on a poster it still irritates me. It’s ads like these are designed to scare the public into a belife that almost alway ensures the government will be making some sort of cash out of the deal in the long run.

    You don’t need to do either of these things to get into an early grave. You’ll end up going when you are supposed to even if you aren’t ready.

    I’m really sick of all these hand holding nanny states/coutries that just won’t let people live their lives.

    Someone once told me to "eat, drink, and be merry; for tomorrow you may be gone", maybe they should tell it to these special groups and government suits.


    "I’ve been told I’m the resident skeptic, but I wouldn’t believe that."

  9. Magic says:

    My main problem with the advert was that it did seem to single out only games, as if (like all the paranoid scaremongers tend to think) anyone playing games was risking obesity and an early death, rather than a mixture of factors and lifestyle habits. I’m glad to see there is one counterpart, though are there not any more?

  10. State says:

    This is disgusting. Who are these sickos that claim cupcakes are bad? I knew the government was anti-cupcakes and this ad just proves it. Cupcakes are always blamed for society’s ills, apparently in the last school shooting the shooter was found to have eaten cupcakes the night before.

    This is a rather biased ad by the government, didn’t they consider other aspects that may cause death (or rather obesity which leads to death) such as video games? But they won’t because they are anti-cupcakes and have been trying for years to ban cupcakes. The ad clearly equates cupcakes to death, it doesn’t even back itself up (although there is accompanying text to explain fully and clearly what it is about). I hope the cupcake industry sues the government over this because they say cupcakes = death. This is just plain wrong I mean it’s not as though eating lots of cupcakes would led you to becoming fat, I mean they could say that eat and cupcake and do 20 hrs of exercise is okay but they don’t because they are anti-cupcakes. What next? Anime (you know the government hates this too don’t you, I’ve no evidence for this of course but they are).

    I bet that this is blackmail because the cupcakes industry didn’t donate to the cause (even though they weren’t asked to, but that’s not the point). We should all protest at this portrayal of cupcakes. The amount of taxes that the cupcakes industry brings in to the country and they do this. I bet they wouldn’t do that with smoking or alcohol (you’ll never see the government criticise those things, would you?).

    The government is anti-cupcakes and this just proves it.

  11. Geoff says:

    Seeing those ads makes me want to eat a cupcake while playing video games.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  12. hellfire7885 says:

    I guess it is kind of ok if they’re showing more than one angle of this, but they don’t need to pull this prophet of doom "eat it/play it and you WILL die" bull crap. Makes it seem like axing it from your life entirely is the answer, not moderation.

Comments are closed.