Mortal Kombat viral ad glorified violence, says ASA

Blood on the carpet indeed


An online video ad for computer game Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks has been slammed by the Advertising Standards Authority as condoning and glorifying violence. It is the first time that a complaint over a viral ad campaign has been upheld by the watchdog.

The ad, entitled Blood on the Carpet, was created for games developer Midway Games by London-based Maverick Media. It features a boardroom scene in which a Mr Linn, the mysterious trouble-shooter at a sales meeting, instructs two men to fight.

Punches lead to a pen being stabbed into an arm; then a water jug is smashed over an executive's head – before his heart is ripped from his chest. Mr Linn concludes proceedings by decapitating another executive with his hat.

The ASA received one complaint over the ad, alleging that it was offensive, violent and unsuitable to be viewed by children.

The ad was shown on viral tracking website viralchart.com and on ttr2.co.uk, which publishes and links content targeted at 18 to 40-year-old men. Neither firm had received any complaints over the ad. Representatives of the ttr2.co.uk site told the ASA that they had considered the ad to be humorous, and had marked the clip as SNSFW – Slightly Not Safe For Work. According to Maverick Media, while apologising for any offence caused, the video clip was suitable for the sites on which it was placed.

But the ASA ruled that, “although the ad was intended to be humorous, because it both condoned and glorified violence and contained some scenes which could be emulated, it was irresponsible.”

“The ad was likely to cause fear or distress and serious or widespread offence and Midway Games had used shocking images to attract attention to their product,” it added.

The watchdog told the firm not to repeat the approach and to take advice when making ads in the future.

See: The ASA ruling

Copyright © 2005, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.


Other stories you might like

  • Warehouse belonging to Chinese payment terminal manufacturer raided by FBI

    PAX Technology devices allegedly infected with malware

    US feds were spotted raiding a warehouse belonging to Chinese payment terminal manufacturer PAX Technology in Jacksonville, Florida, on Tuesday, with speculation abounding that the machines contained preinstalled malware.

    PAX Technology is headquartered in Shenzhen, China, and is one of the largest electronic payment providers in the world. It operates around 60 million point-of-sale (PoS) payment terminals in more than 120 countries.

    Local Jacksonville news anchor Courtney Cole tweeted photos of the scene.

    Continue reading
  • Everything you wanted to know about modern network congestion control but were perhaps too afraid to ask

    In which a little unfairness can be quite beneficial

    Systems Approach It’s hard not to be amazed by the amount of active research on congestion control over the past 30-plus years. From theory to practice, and with more than its fair share of flame wars, the question of how to manage congestion in the network is a technical challenge that resists an optimal solution while offering countless options for incremental improvement.

    This seems like a good time to take stock of where we are, and ask ourselves what might happen next.

    Congestion control is fundamentally an issue of resource allocation — trying to meet the competing demands that applications have for resources (in a network, these are primarily link bandwidth and router buffers), which ultimately reduces to deciding when to say no and to whom. The best framing of the problem I know traces back to a paper [PDF] by Frank Kelly in 1997, when he characterized congestion control as “a distributed algorithm to share network resources among competing sources, where the goal is to choose source rate so as to maximize aggregate source utility subject to capacity constraints.”

    Continue reading
  • How business makes streaming faster and cheaper with CDN and HESP support

    Ensure a high video streaming transmission rate

    Paid Post Here is everything about how the HESP integration helps CDN and the streaming platform by G-Core Labs ensure a high video streaming transmission rate for e-sports and gaming, efficient scalability for e-learning and telemedicine and high quality and minimum latencies for online streams, media and TV broadcasters.

    HESP (High Efficiency Stream Protocol) is a brand new adaptive video streaming protocol. It allows delivery of content with latencies of up to 2 seconds without compromising video quality and broadcasting stability. Unlike comparable solutions, this protocol requires less bandwidth for streaming, which allows businesses to save a lot of money on delivery of content to a large audience.

    Since HESP is based on HTTP, it is suitable for video transmission over CDNs. G-Core Labs was among the world’s first companies to have embedded this protocol in its CDN. With 120 points of presence across 5 continents and over 6,000 peer-to-peer partners, this allows a service provider to deliver videos to millions of viewers, to any devices, anywhere in the world without compromising even 8K video quality. And all this comes at a minimum streaming cost.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021