EA: Wii Graphics "Not Of Broadcast Quality"

Yeah, you read that right. Britain's Advertising Standards Authority have busted EA trying to pass the 360 version of Tiger Woods 09 off as the Wii version. And EA's defence is just delicious.

A TV commercial which aired in the UK in August used 360 footage throughout, both gameplay and cinematic. Problem is, between in-game footage, the real Tiger Woods is seen waggling a Wii Remote around, and at the end of the ad, there's a Wii logo. There's the disclaimer text "available on all formats", but the combination of the Wii logo and the Wii Remote use was obviously a bit much.

Following complaints (well, one complaint), the ASA investigated, and EA's response to them went a little something like this:

Electronic Arts confirmed that the footage in the ad was taken from the Xbox 360 version of the game. They pointed out that Tiger Woods was seen using a Wiimote throughout the ad and the only branding at the end of the ad was that of Nintendo Wii. They said, to avoid any confusion, they added text to inform viewers that the game was available on all formats. Electronic Arts maintained that they were demonstrating game action that was possible on all formats and did not show any gameplay that was impossible on a Wii. They explained that Wii footage would not be of broadcast quality, and the originating agency had thought it preferable to use the Xbox footage, which was closer to broadcast definition, than to "up the resolution" of Wii footage to broadcast quality.

They believed the use of the Wiimote throughout, the subsequent Nintendo branding and the format advice at the end of the ad was sufficient to allow viewers to ascertain that the gameplay was representative of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 and not specific to any gaming platform. They added that they had never intended to imply that the graphics used were taken from the Wii version.

Clearcast said they had received an assurance from the agency that the footage had been taken directly from actual gameplay. They also said they had understood that the footage was Wii footage but had not obtained a written assurance on that point. They said in future they would ensure that the assurance confirmed, not only that the footage was game footage, but also that it was from the format being promoted.

Yup. Not of broadcast quality. That's just mean.

End result? The ad was misleading, and can't be shown anymore. Score one for truth, justice and the...British way.

Electronic Arts Ltd t/a EA Games [ASA, via Offworld] [Image]