ASA: UK Heavy Rain Ads Not All Wet

May 12, 2010 -

A series of television ads run in the UK for the PlayStation 3 game Heavy Rain rankled a few feathers due to their timing and violence.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) reported receiving 38 complaints in response to four Heavy Rain ads, with viewers criticizing the violence of the ads and a perceived glamorization of violence. The objectors also worried that the ads were run at a time of day when children could view them.

The last complaint about the ads was that they were run around the same time that a shop keeper in Huddersfield was killed in an armed robbery. The Heavy Rain ads all depicted a scene in which a shop keeper was repeatedly threatened by an armed man with Heavy Rain character Scott Shelby watching. The versions differed in how the Shelby reacted to the situation; he either intervened, attacked or negotiated with the armed robber.

Gurmail Singh, of Cowcliffe, Huddersfield, died from head injuries received in a February 20 attack in his store, according to the BBC.

Sony called the overlap of the ads with the death of Singh “unfortunate,” to which the ASA added, “We considered that the ad was likely to be viewed by most people within its context of an ad for a videogame, rather than as a reference to or comment on a current news event, and would therefore expect to see footage that was representative of the games genre.”

The PlayStation maker also argued that “the ads were based on the content and storyline of the game Heavy Rain and were in no way intended to glamorise violence.”

The ASA additionally stated that the ads were run in appropriate time slots and ruled against all complaints.

One of the ads in question is embedded. All four can be viewed in this PlayStation EU blog post.


Comments

Re: ASA: UK Heavy Rain Ads Not All Wet

People need to STFU, then get off their crosses, use the wood to build a bridge, and get over it.

Re: ASA: UK Heavy Rain Ads Not All Wet

Hmmm, I need to remember that line, thanks.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: ASA: UK Heavy Rain Ads Not All Wet

In Canada, all you need is one person to complain about an ad to get it pulled.

Anyways... I find it very annoying that it's likely only because this is a videogame.  There are all kinds of movie trailers that have significantly more violence (and definitely promotes violence) than that particular scene in Heavy Rain.  In fact, that scene handles violence very well I think.  

In that scene, Shelby can either intervene and get shot, sneak up and disarm the robber or try to reason with him.  This is a pure knee jerk reaction and ONLY because it's a game.

------- Morality has always been in decline. As you get older, you notice it. When you were younger, you enjoyed it.

Re: ASA: UK Heavy Rain Ads Not All Wet

Over-sensitive much? What? It´s is wrong to despict crime or violence because actual crime and violence happen?

 

------------------------------------------------------------ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: ASA: UK Heavy Rain Ads Not All Wet

Seriously, how can people be such pussies that they are going to report a TV ad to the government because it hurt their fragile minds by depicting violence?  How are these types of people able to function in the real world?

Re: ASA: UK Heavy Rain Ads Not All Wet

Cause 38 complaints obviously means that millions hated the ads...

Really?  So much to do over only 38 complaints?  They should ignore them, and keep running the ads.  

 
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Papa MidnightI think EZK is more spot-on. This may have carried on far beyond it's genesis, but the true driving force of this whole astroturfing campaign was the angst of an ex-boyfriend of Zoe Quinn's.10/02/2014 - 9:54am
KronoAnd that's off the top of my head, specific to Kotaku.10/02/2014 - 9:54am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, yet no one can actually point at any "positive reviews" or otehr press given Quinn by Grayson.10/02/2014 - 9:53am
KronoBeyond that you have Patricia Hernandez writing reviews for, and plugging Anna Anthropy's work. Anna being Patricia's friend and former roomate.10/02/2014 - 9:52am
Sleaker@EZK - I believe there were a few more related to Patreon, and IGF. But regardless of the disclosure thing, that was only half of my statement, and I'm simply trying to speak on the reasons why GG got popular. But you sidestepped my last question there...10/02/2014 - 9:50am
KronoThe only questions is whether or you believe Grayson's previous friendship with her, and possible interest in starting a romance influenced his reporting.10/02/2014 - 9:48am
Krono@EZK There's nothing supposed about Grayson and Quinn having a relationship. Kotaku itself confirmed said romance matching the timeline Eron posted: http://goo.gl/yLgdx910/02/2014 - 9:46am
prh99So far the only "crimes" seem to be editorializing and collaboration outside their respective organizations. If they are going to persist at least point to something actually questionable.10/02/2014 - 9:45am
E. Zachary KnightSo aside from the supposed Kotaku/Quinn relationship, do you have a specific example of said lack of disclosure?10/02/2014 - 9:36am
prh99#gamergate renamed #butthurtfarce10/02/2014 - 9:31am
Sleakerwhat the message that they are actually trying to convey is.10/02/2014 - 9:30am
Sleakerthe fault of the journalist? If a large number of people read these articles and all came to the same conclusion that Gamers were being attacked by journalists as a whole, then it seems the burden of journalists to do a better job of explaining...10/02/2014 - 9:29am
Sleaker@EZK - It's not a surprise that articles came out. The surprise is when journalists fail to disclose relationships as they write about the trends, and the content by which the articles contain. Perhaps a large portion was misinterpreted, but isn't that10/02/2014 - 9:28am
prh99It definitely prolonged it, we wouldn't be hearing about Intel if not for Gamers are over/dead. Just additional wood for the fire.10/02/2014 - 9:23am
E. Zachary KnightConster, which sites associated "ALL" gamers with the harassment?10/02/2014 - 9:22am
E. Zachary KnightIs it really a surprise that 15 news sites responed to a very loud and very public shaming campaign against a woman critic of sexism and a woman being attacked unjustly because of the words of an ex-boyfriend.10/02/2014 - 9:19am
ConsterSo a bunch of assholes decided to harass people, sites wrote negative articles associating all gamers with said assholes, and people got so angry about the articles they decided to associate themselves with said assholes?10/02/2014 - 9:18am
Sleaker@EZK - I think you're attributing too much there. I think the reality is actually, if 15 news sites didn't alll write coincidentally 'gamers are dead' articles, in response to a very small number of harassment cases, we wouldn't be here.10/02/2014 - 9:10am
E. Zachary KnightSo what you are saying is that gamergate is a reflexive and defensive reaction to jerks and douchebags being told off?10/02/2014 - 9:06am
Sleaker@prh99 - the ZQ stuff was a catalyst, but GG didn't explode until the Gamers are dead articles popped up everywhere, see article 3 in the link I posted.10/02/2014 - 9:04am
 

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