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Mortal Kombat ad ‘condoned violence’

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A poster advertising the Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance computer game "condoned violence", according to the advertising watchdog.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 15 complaints about the ad, which showed a hooded youth in a train carriage wiping his bloodied hand on the shoulder of a middle-aged businessman.

The accompanying text read: "Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance. It's in us all".

Those who complained said the poster was "irresponsible", because it confused real-life crime with a game and might incite people - especially children - to violence. They also said it was "offensive, distressing and unsuitable to be seen by children".

The advertisers, Midway Games Ltd, defended the poster arguing that it did not depict a criminal or violent act. The company also insisted that it was a "fantasy product" and was not targeted at children under 18.

But the ASA disagreed ruling that the poster "condoned violence and was irresponsible". It also concluded that the poster was "distressing and likely to cause serious or widespread offence".

The ASA rejected a third complaint that the ad was racist. ®

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