Tiga submits Change4Life complaint to ASA

Tiga submits Change4Life complaint to ASA

By Ben Parfitt

March 9th 2009 at 12:00PM

CEO Richard Wilson calls government ad â??absurd and insulting in equal measureâ?

UK and European development trade body Tiga has become the latest organisation to speak out against the Government’s Change4Life campaign, joining the likes of Sega and Atari in their condemnation.

MCV broke the news last week that a new Government-backed initiative dubbed Change4Life uses an image of a child holding a joypad to highlight the issue of inactivity and the associated health risks.

Subsequently, MCV filed a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority. Games governing body ELSPA has also called an urgent meeting with the government to discuss the move.

In addition, publisher such as Sega and Atari have spoken out against the ad, forcing the Department of Health to defend its campaign – though it refused to apologise to the games industry. Tiga has now joined MCV in filing an official complaint with the ASA.

“This advert is absurd and insulting in equal measure,” CEO Richard Wilson stated. “To imply that playing a video game leads to a premature rendezvous with the Grim Reaper is a non-sequitur of colossal proportions. Alcohol and drug abuse, smoking, obesity and involvement in violent crime are forms of behaviour that risk an early death.

“In contrast, many video games are mentally stimulating, potentially educational and social and some involve physical exercise. Brain Training, Wii Fit, Civilisation, Singstar and Buzz are cases in point.

“This advert is offensive to the 30,000 people who work in the UK’s video games industry, particularly the 10,000 who work in games development. Game developers are typically intelligent, very qualified and creative individuals who work to produce high quality games for people’s entertainment. They are not in the business of driving people to an early grave.

“With nearly a quarter of men and women and almost a fifth of two to five year olds in England obese we clearly need to encourage a more active lifestyle and healthy diet. It should be possible to achieve this objective without misrepresenting a creative industry of 30,000 people.”