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Nipples and teen lesbians sexy even when ironic, ASA rules

But regulator says Duke Nukem ad violence OK

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The Advertising Standards Authority has put the kibosh on an ad for Duke Nukem Forever that confronted post-watershed viewers with pole dancers, schoolgirl lesbians and multiple nipple flashes.

The ad regulator said it had received 34 complaints about the ad, shown last June, that had questioned whether it was "offensive and irresponsible, because it was sexist, violent and overly explicit and included imagery which was likely to harm children and vulnerable people".

Scenes in the ad included "naked women pole-dancing in a strip club and a full frontal view of a woman wearing only thong-style pants", the ASA noted, though the nipples and bottoms were pixelated to spare viewers' blushes.

Other scenes included "two girls in the club, who were dressed in school uniform and had their hair in bunches, and were about to kiss".

All of this was intercut with the usual Duke Nukem mayhem including "aircraft firing weapons over a blazing city, a character being punched and a robot marching through a street".

Take Two Interactive Software Europe argued that the pole dancing and kissing only occurred in a post-watershed version of the ad.

It was said the game itself was a "cartoonish, over-the-top, humorous" take on the genre: "Any sexual content and violence was presented in an exaggerated, non-realistic way, by animated characters, in an attempt to send up the main protagonist, Duke Nukem himself, a "1980s, muscle-bound, ultra-macho figure of fun". (An argument, which if extended, would suggest most male porn stars are actually post-modernist comedians.)

Clearly, the ASA hasn't being paying attention in its media studies classes, and it ruled that while the violence was "not at a level likely to distress or cause harm to children or vulnerable people", the sex was a different matter.

The gyrating women were "overly sexually explicit" even given the time slot, while "in the context of other scenes with sexual content, the ad appeared to link teenage girls with sexually provocative behaviour".

The ad should not be broadcast again in the post-watershed time slot, it ruled. However, it OK'd the spot for post-11pm viewing. ®

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