ITC bans ‘offensive’ Xbox TV ad

'Shocking and in bad taste'

Microsoft has been ordered to stop showing a TV commercial for its Xbox games console after it was dubbed "offensive, shocking and in bad taste".

The Independent Television Commission (ITC) received 136 complaints about the ad claiming it has caused "considerable distress to many viewers".

The ad starts with a woman giving birth to a baby boy. Immediately after the birth, the infant is shot out of a window, and ages rapidly as he travels at speed through the air.

He screams throughout the journey before violently crashing into his own grave as an old man. The advertisement ends with the line "Life is short. Play more".

Some viewers, including a pregnant woman and a new mother, objected in particular to the childbirth scene, while most thought the final scene showing the body crashing into a grave was extremely disturbing.

Microsoft has apologised to those who were disturbed by the ad.

It said in a statement: "We have been asked by the ITC to remove [the ad] from television in the UK only due to a minority of viewers who complained about the commercial. We did not set out to offend any viewers, and apologise if we have done so." ®