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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.

Go To Page 2 for our comments and more related links

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 (opens in new tab)

(Develop Mag)

Tiga: Change4Life ad "Absurd and Insulting" (opens in new tab)

(Spong)

Game developers lodge complaint over ad (opens in new tab)

(Digital Spy)

Tiga submits formal Change4Life complaint (opens in new tab)

(MCV)

Tiga Complains Over UK Government Campaign4Life Ads (opens in new tab)

(Gamasutra)

Tiga slams "absurd and insulting" Change4Life campaign (opens in new tab)

(GamesIndustry.biz)

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.