TIGA Criticises Change4Life Advertising Campaign

The European game developer and trade body TIGA has lodged an official complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over the print ad of the UK government’s contentious ad campaign Change4Life.

The ad portrays a small kid holding a PlayStation controller, under which words “Risk an early death. Just do nothing” have been quoted.

The print advert is a part of comprehensive TV and online campaign, organised by the Department of Health and Nation Health System, and backed by the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research, and Diabetes UK, and it is focused at promoting a healthy lifestyle and putting off various harmful activities, too much drinking and smoking.

In his response to the ad campaign, Richard Wilson, Tiga’s chief exec, said in a statement, “This advert is absurd and insulting in equal measure. To imply that playing a video game leads to a premature rendezvous with the Grim Reaper is a non-sequitur of colossal proportions”.

He further went on to say this advert would harm over 30,000 people, who are currently working in the UK’s game industry, and especially the 10,000 people currently employed in the game development domains.

With a huge proportion of UK’s population suffering from obesity, the government should emphasise on a “more active lifestyle and healthy diets”, Wilson added.

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Our Comments

You can only squeeze so much data into 25 seconds worth of a primetime TV advertising. Having seen the Change4Life advert several times over the last few months, we believe that it is an overreaction from the part of the TIGA. Couch-potato gaming has a definite impact on the health of teenagers at a time when they should be doing more physical activity. Denying this is ludicrous and although the C4L message is simplistic, it does summarise the current situation.

Related Links

Tiga submits Change4Life complaint to ASA

(Develop Mag)

Tiga: Change4Life ad "Absurd and Insulting"


Game developers lodge complaint over ad

(Digital Spy)

Tiga submits formal Change4Life complaint


Tiga Complains Over UK Government Campaign4Life Ads


Tiga slams "absurd and insulting" Change4Life campaign