More PSP ads target of critics

European marketing campaign promoting new white PSP seen by some as racist; Sony denies any intentions other than artistic.


When the PSP was released in the US in early 2005, the handheld sold itself with its sleek design, large screen, and "it" factor. Sony advertised anyway, of course, but ran into some troubles with its graffiti-themed ads, drawing fire from some for defacing public property. Recently, some new ads for the portable in Europe also received complaints for encouraging "violent or anti-social behavior" because of statements such as "Strong language and scenes of a sexual nature here" and "Take a running jump here" in the subways of London.

Now it looks like new PSP ads have caused more uproar. A campaign in the Netherlands promoting a new ceramic white-colored model has landed the company in more hot water.

The series of ads show a white woman in all white promoting the system in various ways. But it's one ad in particular (available at that has several calling the campaign racist. In the controversial piece, the white woman is wearing a scowl on her face and holding a black woman in all black by the jaw, and reads "PlayStation Portable White is coming."

Sony has claimed that there was no ill intent with the ads. When asked to comment on the debate, a Sony rep told GameSpot News: "The marketing campaign for the launch of the white PSP in the Netherlands focuses on the contrast between the Black PSP model and the new Ceramic White PSP model. A variety of different treatments have been created as a campaign to either highlight the whiteness of the new model or contrast the black and the white models. Central to this campaign has been the creation of some stunningly photographed imagery that has been used on large billboards throughout Holland. All of the images created for the campaign have been designed to show this contrast in colors of the PSP's, and have no other message or purpose."

For more pictures of the campaign, check out the official Dutch PSP Web site.

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