ASA rejects Hitman ad complaints

UK's Advertising Standards Authority declares Hitman's Attack of the Saints 'did not glamorise violence, or violence towards women'.


The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has rejected complaints filed against a recent Hitman: Absolution trailer. According to the ASA ruling, a total of two complaints were logged, which challenged whether the advert was "offensive," "distressing," and "socially irresponsible,"

The "Attack of the Saints" trailer--which depicted highly sexualised, PVC-clad nuns being killed--was the subject of much criticism in the press and on social networking site Twitter, due its violent, sexual scenes.

In a statement to the ASA, publisher Square Enix responded to the complaints by stating that the trailer was an "homage to the B-movie 'Tarantino-esque' genre of comic book filmmaking," and that it does not "condone mindless violence towards anyone." It also made clear that that the trailer was placed behind an 18-rated age gate on its YouTube channel.

While the ASA acknowledged the trailer contained many violent and sexual scenes, it noted that the ad was placed behind an appropriate age gate. It also considered it "likely" that users who viewed the trailer were specifically seeking out material related to the game, due to it being featured on Hitman's YouTube and Facebook channels.

The ASA declared the trailer "did not glamorise violence generally, or violence towards women in particular."

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