Electronic Arts is the latest company to run afoul of Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the U.K. The ASA has twice banned iPhone ads
over false or misleading claims. In this case, the ASA said that an EA ad tried to pass off Xbox 360 graphics as Wii graphics.
In the ad, Tiger Woods uses a Wiimote to play the game, but the graphics displayed are from the Xbox 360 version. EA claimed that while Woods was shown using the Wiimote and Wii branding was shown at the end of the ad, the text "available on all formats" was displayed during the ad, adn that should be enough for customers to know that the graphics aren't necessarily from a Wii.
EA further said that Wii graphics aren't "broadcast quality," and thus they had to use Xbox 360 graphics. Huh? Perhaps they intended the commercial for HDTV ONLY or something.
The ASA's decision
The ASA noted the ad showed Tiger Woods in the foreground using a handset from the Nintendo Wii console and that each time he played a shot, a character in the game footage behind him mirrored his actions. We also noted the only console-specific branding displayed at the end of the ad was the Wii logo. Although we acknowledged that the message "AVAILABLE ON ALL FORMATS" appeared in the final scene, we considered that viewers would infer from the ad that Tiger Woods was playing the game on a Wii console and the graphics shown behind him were representative of the actual game he was playing. We also considered that the Wii logo at the end of the ad reinforced that impression. Because viewers would not be able to achieve the graphical quality shown in the ad on a Wii console, we concluded that the ad was misleading.
The ASA indicated that the ad cannot be shown again in its current form.