A TV advertisement for the Xbox 360 has been banned in the UK because it promotes and glamorises dangerous driving. The ad featured a rooftop and street car chase ending with the protagonists congratulating each other and swapping roles. "We were concerned that the ad gave the impression that reckless street car racing was exciting and fun, and considered that was compounded by the congratulations offered to the other driver at the end of the race by the other young men involved," stated the Advertising Standards Authority.
Microsoft had defended that ad stating the publisher and the ad makers had worked hard to avoid misconceptions that the console was encouraging dangerous driving. As well as airing the ad after 9pm the ad featured on-screen text explaining the stunts were in a controlled environment and that at no point were the cars breaking speed limits. However, the ASA found that "the text reinforced the sense that the events in the ad were real, rather than fantasy, and were therefore capable of being copied."
The advert will not be shown on UK TV again due to breaching rules on health and safety and driving standards. Videogame companies face regular run-ins with the Advertising Standards Authority. A number of complaints about violence, glorifying violence and advertising to children were received by the ASA recently over a series of advertisements for the launch of the Nintendo Wii. However, all seventeen complaints were rejected.