UK regulator rejects Bully ad complaints

Rockstar Games and parent company Take Two have had their fair share of run-ins with the authorities this year. In the UK, a long-running battle with the BBFC ended in victory when Manhunt 2 was granted an 18 certificate after an appeal to the Video Appeals Committee. Over in the US, Take Two...

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Rockstar Games and parent company Take Two have had their fair share of run-ins with the authorities this year. In the UK, a long-running battle with the BBFC ended in victory when Manhunt 2 was granted an 18 certificate after an appeal to the Video Appeals Committee. Over in the US, Take Two ended up taking legal action against the Chicago Transit Authority for pulling down advertising relating to Grand Theft Auto 4.

Today, the UK's Advertising Standards Authority has rejected complaints from viewers about ads run earlier in the year for Rockstar's Bully: Scholarship Edition. The ads featured scenes from the game, including a student being given a wedgie, Hopkins kissing a girl, and the firing of a catapult. The complainants had indicated that they thought the ad was "distasteful," gave the wrong message in the current climate of problems with teenage violence, and should not be shown when it might be viewed by children.

Take Two responded that the ad was no longer running, and that it was primarily comic in nature. The company felt that "many of the complaints were directed against the name and contents of the game itself rather than the ad," according to the ASA ruling. The previous version of the game was released in the UK under the name Canis Canem Edit.

Clearcast, which screens advertisements before they are shown on television, said that "far from glorifying bullying, the aim of the game was actually to beat the bullies." It also believed that the name of the game had attracted attention to the advertisement. Clearcast had also issued an "ex-kids" restriction on the advert, meaning that it could not be shown during programmes that have under-15s as more than 30 percent of their audience.

The ASA did not uphold any of the complaints. The body felt that the ad was "unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence," even if many people might feel the game itself was in poor taste. It also "considered that viewers were unlikely to draw a direct analogy between the computer-generated, stereotyped school setting and contemporary society," and did not find any breaches of the restrictions placed on the broadcasting of the advert.

Discussion

9 comments
aarun27
aarun27

I agree with Galadreil782. People need to go into depth and look for themselves and see what the game is actually about. And yeah bully is a great game!

-Jonce-
-Jonce-

'The complainants had indicated that they thought the ad was "distasteful," gave the wrong message in the current climate of problems with teenage violence...' If only Britains teenagers were giving wedges and kissing girls instead of carrying knives we'd all be happier. The people that complained to the Advertising Standards really need to get some perspective and their complaints were rightly rejected.

Galadreil782
Galadreil782

No ! I still don't understand. If the majority of the populace PLAYED the game, they would find out that the game is about beating up the bullies! That was meantioned in this article, but it seems alot of people don't realise that. Bully is one of the best games of all time, and I hate to see it having so much controversy.

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

Good to hear that somewhere, someone has a lick of sense left in them.

Leo_Colt
Leo_Colt

oh noez1!!11! wee must sheildez every1s from the evils of real life11!!1!!! Honestly, how can one possibly relate wedgies, making out and catapults to knife crime? Plus bullying in general does happen. If anything, awareness is a boon. Meh, I can't be bothered to start a long, rambling rant about it. I could understand if the ad was still running, but jeez....

WeWerePirates
WeWerePirates

"gave the wrong message in the current climate of problems with teenage violence" Wedgie, knife crime, lets not worry about the details.

Irve
Irve

all sounds fairly sensible to me .... still haven't got round to playing Bully properly .. but from what i played it was all very 80's revenge of the nerds style stuff

Pewbert
Pewbert

Well since the ad isn't even running anymore there is not a lot they could have done! :P Bully is a great game though.

LozzaGS
LozzaGS

Rockstar Games and parent company Take Two have had their fair share of run-ins with the authorities this year. In the UK, a long-running battle with the BBFC ended in victory when Manhunt 2 was granted an 18 certificate after an appeal to the Video Appeals Committee. Over in the US, Take Two ended up taking legal action against the Chicago Transit Authority for pulling down advertising relating to Grand Theft Auto 4.Today, the UK's Advertising Standards Authority has rejected complaints from viewers about ads run earlier in the year for Rockstar's Bully: Scholarship Edition. The ads featured scenes from the game, including a student being given a wedgie, Hopkins kissing a girl, and the firing of a catapult. The complainants had indicated that they thought the ad was "distasteful," gave the wrong message in the current climate of problems with teenage violence, and should not be shown when it might be viewed by children.Take Two responded that the ad was no longer running, and that it was primarily comic in nature. The company felt that "many of the complaints were directed against the name and contents of the game itself rather than the ad," according to the ASA ruling. The previous version of the game was released in the UK under the name Canis Canem Edit. Clearcast, which screens advertisements before they are shown on television, said that "far from glorifying bullying, the aim of the game was actually to beat the bullies." It also believed that the name of the game had attracted attention to the advertisement. Clearcast had also issued an "ex-kids" restriction on the advert, meaning that it could not be shown during programmes that have under-15s as more than 30 percent of their audience.The ASA did not uphold any of the complaints. The body felt that the ad was "unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence," even if many people might feel the game itself was in poor taste. It also "considered that viewers were unlikely to draw a direct analogy between the computer-generated, stereotyped school setting and contemporary society," and did not find any breaches of the restrictions placed on the broadcasting of the advert.