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Nokia's N-Gage ads are ‘violent and sinister’

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Nokia has been banned from showing a number of ads plugging its N-Gage games device after they were branded violent and sinister.

One of the ads showed a photograph of an alleyway at night. The text in the middle of the advertisement stated: "This is where I took on three guys...and made them cry like babies."

Those who complained said the ad was "offensive and distressing in its depiction of violence and crime, especially to those who saw it in areas where they faced an increased possibility of assault". The ASA agreed saying the ad was "likely to cause serious or widespread offence or distress to readers".

Another ad, which featured a photograph of a changing room with lockers and the line "This is where I made Kev look small", was slammed because of references to bullying.

While an ad that showed an image of an isolated caravan in front of a row of tall pine trees with the text "This is where I left Kate, Lucy and Michelle begging for more" was said to have "sexual connotations...and was likely to cause serious or widespread offence".

In all, the ASA upheld six out of nine complaints against Nokia.

In a statement Nokia apologised for those offended by the advertising campaign. In its defence, it said it tried to make the campaign "compelling and memorable".

"Our sole aim was to produce advertising that supported the multiplayer capabilities of the N-Gage platform and used typical gaming language and imagery to reflect gaming victories."

Nokia said it would update its advertising to ensure that it complies with the ASA ruling. ®

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