Electronic Arts has been hit with a complaint in the United Kingdom over an ad for Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09, which showed Tiger using a Wiimote with game footage behind him. The only problem? The game footage behind Mr. Woods was from the Xbox 360 version.
Now, there may be some wiggle room here because the ad is technically for all versions of the game, but the UK has extremely strict laws about advertising.
Electronic Arts has confirmed that the footage behind Tiger was taken from the Xbox 360 version, but defends their position by saying that the Wii footage would not be of "broadcast quality". Instead, the ad agency decided to use the Xbox 360 footage instead of "[upping] the resolution" of the Wii footage.
The complaint was upheld and the ad cannot run again in the UK without being edited. Hit the break for the full ruling from the Advertising Standards Authority.
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 ad breached CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code Rules 5.1 (Misleading advertising) and 5.2.2 (Implications).
What do you think about EA's ad agency using the Xbox 360 footage for an ad clearly aimed at pointing out the Wii version of the game? Misleading?