ASA dismisses Change4Life ad complaints

By Patrick Garratt
19 March 2009 10:20 GMT


The UK Advertising Standards Authority has dismissed complaints made against a government ad campaign which promotes exercise by showing a child holding a gaming controller.

But Tiga and MCV lodged complaints against the Change4Life image, which they claimed suggested the government was linking early death to playing videogames.

“Whilst the ASA Council understood the concerns of Tiga and those complainants who worked in the videogames industry, it noted that the ad did not claim that playing computer or console games alone would lead to illness or premature death,” wrote the agency.

“The Council considered that most readers would understand that the ad was discouraging a sedentary lifestyle and used the example of playing a console game as an illustration of the type of behaviour which might lead to long-term health problems if no exercise were taken alongside more sedentary activities.

“The Council considered it unlikely that most readers would infer from the ad that playing videogames was the sole contributory factor in the development of the health problems mentioned in the ad.”

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