A Wii U Commercial Was Pulled Because A Single Person Complained

In Britain, the Advertising Standards Authority operates under a fairly simple rule. If even a single person complains about a commercial, they take a look at it, and if they agree, they can pull the ad from the airwaves. Which is exactly what happened recently with a Wii U commercial.


You may have actually seen it before; as the first Western Wii U ad, it stood out for being truly awful, sounding more like a discount dollar store commercial than something for a new home console.

Sadly, it wasn't pulled for quality concerns. It was pulled when someone complained that the commercial was "misleading", in that it makes certain Wii U controller features appear standard when not every game supports them. Which... well, they have a point. Something the ASA agreed with.

The ad referred to a number of features of the Wii U console and GamePad, including being able to shoot at the TV using the GamePad, switching gameplay to the GamePad if someone else wanted to use the TV and using the GamePad to zoom in on targets, enter key codes and interact with the surroundings in the game. The ASA considered that it would be clear to consumers that many of these features would not be available in all games. However, we considered that the option to switch gameplay to the GamePad controller could be available on all games, and as this was a new console consumers would not have an awareness of whether this was something specific to individual games or a general feature of the console. We considered that, in this context, the ad should have made clear that this feature would not be available on all games. Because it did not, we concluded the ad was misleading.

The ad breached BCAP Code rules 3.1 and 3.2 (Misleading advertising) and 3.10 (Qualification).

As such, the clip can no longer be shown on British TV in its current form; it'll have to be edited if it wants to return.

ASA Adjudication on Nintendo of Europe GmbH, UK branch [ASA, via CVG]



I don't understand the confusion. If you saw a phone ad advertising the camera, would you assume that the camera would be usable in every application? Why is this different?