Wii U ad pulled by UK’s Advertising Standards Auithority

Thursday, 17th January 2013 02:35 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The UK’s first Wii U TV spot has been banned from airing over concerns it misleads consumers as to the console’s capabilities.

The ad, which you can watch below, contains the narration “Say someone wants to watch Tv when you’re halfway through a game. Do both, and everyone’s happy,” while showing New Super Mario Bros. U transferring from TV to Game Pad display modes.

A complaint lodged with the Advertising Standards Authority, said the ad was misleading, because they had believed the option to switch to the Game Pad controller would be available in any games, not just the handful which support the feature.

Nintendo of Europe defended itself, saying it has “no control over how third-party software developers used the capabilities” of the Wii U, and that it did not believe “the average consumer viewing the ad would believe that the feature was available on all games”.

Clearcast, a company which anlyses ads for potential issues before airing, said “there was nothing in the ad that implied all featured functions would be available on all games, as this would be entirely dependent on the games’ publishers and not the console manufacturer”.

Unfortunately for Nintendo, the ASA disagreed and yanked the ad.

Only one complaint was made about the ad, which is quite astonishing until you remember “it’s bloody embarrassing” is not recognised as a problem by legal authorities.

Thanks, Cubed3.



  1. Kabby

    I’d ban it based on the guy going ‘Shping, shping’ 13 seconds in.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Brenna Hillier

    @1 right? It makes me want to hide my Nintendo products in the garage with the Fisher Price toys

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Telepathic.Geometry

    I guess they’re right technically, but I personally don’t think it’s deliberately misleading. Does pose the question though, shouldn’t Ninty have made a bigger effort to make sure that all devs use Miiverse, and have the controller screen only functionality.

    Like PSN making everybody have trophies, or MS making everybody have leaderboards…

    #3 2 years ago
  4. xxJPRACERxx

    They should have put an * with the mention “feature not available with all games” or something similar.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Cygnar

    The phrase “halfway through a game” cost Nintendo this ad, and it doesn’t take an analyst or an agency to tell how misleading it is.

    Claiming a feature can be used “halfway through a game” is ambiguous. It can mean ‘during gameplay’ in a general sense, or ‘at the halfway point of a particular game,’ but the former makes much more sense than the latter, meaning that the truth in between the two extremes (that the feature works ‘during some games’) is only just as likely to be communicated as a plausible falsehood (that the feature works ‘during any game’).

    If the ad just said the feature works ‘halfway through this game,’ it would have been underwhelming. That is no excuse to play fast and loose with facts that might be important to consumers. Serious time and money go into ads because airtime is costly, and so it’s unlikely that the word choice here was careless. Good on the ASA for calling out misleading advertising tactics like this.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. polygem

    @1,2: yea :) but nothing beats the ps vita ads imho…so ‘cooooooooool’ (if you live in your moms garage that is, i mean with all those fisher price toys and all, being 32).

    #6 2 years ago
  7. FabioPal

    “and that it did not believe “the average consumer viewing the ad would believe that the feature was available on all games”.”

    In all honesty… I did….

    #7 2 years ago
  8. CyberMarco

    I wonder why they don’t do the same for other misleading ads like those from telemarketing stores “with the new Super-abs machine you’ll get fit in less than 5 minutes” and crap like that.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. DrDamn

    Yep I knew it didn’t but I think it is misleading. When it was first posted here people asked it was supported by all games.

    “Does pose the question though, shouldn’t Ninty have made a bigger effort to make sure that all devs … have the controller screen only functionality.”

    Absolutely not, no. What’s the point of a two screen system if you say all games must support one?

    #9 2 years ago
  10. SplatteredHouse

    “the average consumer viewing the ad would believe that the feature was available on all games”.

    @7 +1…COMMUNICATION. Not a thing Nintendo gets. At all! Bloody hell. At no stage have I ever believed it was an optional feature, that devs could elect to enable on a per-title basis. That’s one of the tenets they’ve been selling the system on. I thought it was part of the OS? That’s another minus point to the WiiU, then as far as I’m concerned. Good that this got flagged up. Maybe Ninty will figure the marketing game out, at some point.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. ps3fanboy

    so the truth finally arrive.. you cant switch to watch tv when you’re halfway through a game on 99% of the games… NINTENDO YOUR A JOKE!!

    i bet nintendo says it is up to the game companies, to include this feature because the wii-u hardware is not powerful enough. by doing it this way they can get away with it.

    we have seen how the mickey mouse game fared on the wii-u and failed miserable. this simple title is totally junk on the wii-u but the ps3/x360 just run fine. and this is not the first game that run badly on the wii-u.. if this is the thing to come you can kiss the wii-u goodbye when the nextgen arrive here next year.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. xino

    they deserve it!

    i thought any game could allow you to do that, I thought that was one of Wii U’s selling feature, but it isn’t.

    dunno why the devs couldn’t allow a OPTIONAL mode to use Wii U gamepad as an additional gameplay instead of forcing it limiting the option to watchtv and play at same time:/

    #12 2 years ago
  13. OlderGamer

    Because Xino many games use BOTH screens at the same time. It isn’t always just a map or inventory or skills that could be displayed with a menu button press using the second screen. Alot of the games have the ability to use the Gamepad, but even they, in most cases, have a loss of features in order to do so. But some games simply can not be played on one screen alone.

    #13 2 years ago

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