Advertising standards backs videogame adverts

ASA claims that games industry marketing is responsible and that 15 and 18-rated game ads are properly scheduled

The marketing of videogames is not seen as a cause for concern at the UK's Advertising Standards Association (ASA).

The ASA conducted a review of videogame marketing strategies following Tanya Byron's review into child safety last spring.

The ASA's compliance report looked at an impressive 241 videogame adverts on TV, cinema, online and on streetside posters from April through to June in 2008.

Only one ad failed

Only one ad was found to be in breach of ASA guidelines and the industry watchdog noted that most ads made the age-rating of the game in question clear, with violent graphic imagery only appearing on ads for games rated 15 or 18.

In addition it found that ads were appropriately scheduled and, in terms of potentially questionable content, mostly reflected the age-rating of the game with more graphic imagery appearing for videogames rated 15 or 18.

"Depiction of violence was a strong theme, but it was often stylised, fantasy-like and clearly separated from reality," notes that ASA's compliance report.

Err, yeah, AND?

To gamers of course, this is all so much common sense and just tends to generate a blank-faced 'err yeah, AND?' type response.

"The editorial content of some of the magazines examined contained images of violence more graphic than any of the images in the ads," the ASA added.

"Our survey is encouraging as it suggests that videogames are being advertised responsibly and in line with the [advertising] codes," said Christopher Graham, Director General of the ASA.