Dead Island: Riptide advertisment pulled from air following suicide complaints

Sadface

By on May 30, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Right here in Australia, a TV spot for Dead Island: Riptide has been pulled from air following complaints about the depiction of suicide in the game’s CG trailer and logo.

The logo for Riptide, which features a body hanging from a tree, was combined with a scene in which a couple detonate a bomb rather than be mauled to death by zombies, and was the cause of complaints such as this one, which read “I think that the ad is too graphic in terms of its depiction of suicide, particularly the final image of the man hanging from a tree.”

“I think that this could be very traumatic for people who have experienced the suicide of a family member by hanging (or any other means).”

Responding to the complaints, Australian distributors AIE noted that the violence in the ad was “contextually relevant” and that it was shown at a timeslot aimed at adult viewers, saying: “The scene does not imply that suicide is a viable option in a real world situation. I believe it is substantially dissociative and is unlikely to draw any parallels in the mind of anyone who has had the deep misfortune to have been affected by the suicide of a family member or friend.”

However, the Advertising Standards Board have upheld the complaints and forced AIE to replace it with a new ad.

You can watch the offending trailer here, and read the ASB’s full report here (PDF).

Source: Mumbrella via VG247

30 comments (Leave your own)

Cue rantings from 13 year olds here who think that all speech is by definition harmless and that people who have had loved ones commit suicide should be randomly exposed to images of people hanging themselves without prior warning.

 

They were right to remove this, if other industries aren’t allowed to get away with pro-suicide campaigns (the gruen transfer recently covered this exact subject) a video game developer certainly will not get away with releasing even a hint of suicide being a persons only option. I think this is fair, the advert is surprisingly tasteful though but inappropriate for Australia- (especially given the people in question are Australians).

Context is irrelevant. If its going on TV during prime time you can’t show it, we’ve got laws against it so they have to abide by it.

 

Didn’t Dead Island already get in trouble for the bikini clad disembodied torso?

 

rapid101,

Yeah it seems that the marketing division for this games doesn’t have much sense.

 

caitsith01:
Cue rantings from 13 year olds here who think that all speech is by definition harmless and that people who have had loved ones commit suicide should be randomly exposed to images of people hanging themselves without prior warning.

how about people that are exposed to … rape, murder, drug abuse etc.
Or you can dive of the crazy end of the spectrum and go for, women sitting amongst men in audiences offends Muslims who’s beliefs it’s against and other crazy stone age values that people get offended by.
This notion that because people have been affected by it and it causes them to be upset we should censor it from the public domain is insane.

Admittedly this is something that doesn’t have an effect on me, yes it’s a horrible thing but come on, context people ! get blown up or get eaten !

gammad: Context is irrelevant. If its going on TV during prime time you can’t show it, we’ve got laws against it so they have to abide by it.

Maybe those laws should change ? maybe they should allow for context ? “we have a law” is not really something to base your life on, if it were women still wouldn’t be allowed to vote along with a whole host of idiotic laws and concepts we previously had.

I understand that people don’t like it and maybe the dangling zombie is abit much but … I dunno, I just think there’s better ways of handling this subject that just censoring it, personally I thought it was quite a good add… better than the product it’s advertising anyways.

 

spooler,

Wait, so by your argument it would be perfectly fine to have an advertisement which has a school girl being raped and brutally murdered as long as it has context? How far can you stretch the “context” argument before it becomes ludicrous, hmmm?

Fact is tasteless content is still tasteless regardless of what context it is placed in.

 

spooler: Maybe those laws should change ? maybe they should allow for context ? “we have a law” is not really something to base your life on, if it were women still wouldn’t be allowed to vote along with a whole host of idiotic laws and concepts we previously had.

That’s a bit of a fallacy though. You’re talking about Women’s rights which lets be honest here isn’t going to kill anyone, it was an equality issue and even today still hasn’t been resolved- the law needed to be changed.

In the context of suicide there’s not only potential to kill someone but again as Gruen Transfer pointed out, its contagious, which is why the law is in place- its to prevent a cascade where someone dies, then everyone effected by it as a result of depression too dies potentially. Its also to stop people profiting from other people’s tragedies. This isn’t a law that needs to be changed as it doesn’t interfere with freedom of speech.. you can still depict suicide in the media.. you just can’t advertise it or use it as a selling point.

 

caitsith01,

Cue sanctimonious generalisations from a pompous set all to ready to dismiss any dissent as ’13 year old rantings’.

Do you always launch into pre-emptive and presumptuous attacks on those who might not agree with you? Regardless of the age of the person you are obligated to argue their points directly, and not just ad hominem them away from you. BEFORE anyones made any arguments you are attacking them.

Pull your head in mate.

 

Oh, Straya. You’re so precious.

 

caitsith01:
people who have had loved ones commit suicide should be randomly exposed to images of people hanging themselves without prior warning.

I knew somebody who committed suicide, by hanging and STILL did not make this connection. This article did though. So which is worse? the advertisement? or the media debacle about it all?

In all honesty though if somebody made the connection and it drove them over the edge, I’d say almost anything else probably could have too.

 

syncourt: I knew somebody who committed suicide, by hanging and STILL did not make this connection. This article did though. So which is worse? the advertisement? or the media debacle about it all?

Im in the EXACT same boat.

 

I wonder if two gas bottles would do that much damage, or maybe we didn’t see the rest?

 

gammad: That’s a bit of a fallacy though. You’re talking about Women’s rights which lets be honest here isn’t going to kill anyone, it was an equality issue and even today still hasn’t been resolved- the law needed to be changed.

An add for suicide would ?
violence in Australian adds is not an uncommon thing with correct context there’s no issue, why can’t the same apply for suicide you can’t really take the view of “I saw it on T.V so I think it’s ok for me to do now… especially when the ad shows the people being surrounded by zombies … in which case suicide might have been the right option there.

vcatkiller: Fact is tasteless content is still tasteless regardless of what context it is placed in.

What was tasteless about the dead island ad ? I mean im no fan of the franchise but in context it seems fine loving couple choose to go out together whilst surrounded by zombies rather than being torn apart by zombies … I really don’t see the issue here.

vcatkiller: Wait, so by your argument it would be perfectly fine to have an advertisement which has a school girl being raped and brutally murdered as long as it has context? How far can you stretch the “context” argument before it becomes ludicrous, hmmm?

no I’m saying violence in advertisements happens it’s not “shock” violence but it’s still there.
tastefulness has to come into play here, if you are trying to get a message across or advertise a product /shrug.
admittedly i’ve never seen rape in an ad and doubt it would ever be appropriate for advertising a product … or atlest I hope that won’t ever happen, but the thing is this is a tasteful ad that I really don’t see the issue with.

The argument of “this happened to someone in real life so seeing it might upset them is kind of stupid you have ads about various cancers all day how many people get reminded of losing someone to cancer and get upset by it ?
And yes I know the 2 aren’t equal but … eh

 

spooler: An add for suicide would ?
violence in Australian adds is not an uncommon thing with correct context there’s no issue, why can’t the same apply for suicide you can’t really take the view of “I saw it on T.V so I think it’s ok for me to do now… especially when the ad shows the people being surrounded by zombies … in which case suicide might have been the right option there.

I’m referring to the “Context” of it being an advertisement. Its an advertisement.. Adverts are for selling things and getting points across. The depiction of suicides contributes nothing to this- especially given its fictitious setting. They didn’t need to do it.. so why are they doing it?!..

And further more a LOT more ads like this get banned every year. Would you rather that they start allowing tobacco companies to advertise on TV again? I mean if we’re going to be anarchistic might as well let everyone advertise. This specific law exists to prevent diabolical bastards from profiting from other people’s misery.. hence why Tobacco adverts were banned in Australia and why Suicide is held in the same regard.

Suicide is no different, it still harms people.. This might be a video game, but its still subjected to those same laws, they can easily get around this by advertising it in a more appropriate manner.. and this is not a violation of freedom of speech nor a violation of the rights of an adult to consume media as they wish… so stop acting like it is. This is specifically enforcing a law that every other industry is subjected to.. No double standards or free passes should be allowed.. even for a video game.

Its advertisement.. marketing.. its all the same, we don’t get freepasses because we make video games.

 

gammad: tobacco companies to advertise on TV again?

Yes, they are selling a legal product, I mean honestly I’d prefer something responsible for so many cases of cancer be an illcit substance but that’s not going to happen, I have always thought it stupid that they cannot advertise tho.
How are they expected to be competitive ?

gammad: and this is not a violation of freedom of speech nor a violation of the rights of an adult to consume media as they wish… so stop acting like it is. This is specifically enforcing a law that every other industry is subjected to.. No double standards or free passes should be allowed.. even for a video game

I’m not, I have no real stake in this I just think it’s stupid, you’re acting like “if people see it it will happen more” which is just silly there’s zombies there too if people see zombies do we get more zombies ?

My point was simply that people can be offended or upset by anything and the original claim of “this could upset people” should never be a reason to censor anything ever.

gammad: Its advertisement.. marketing.. its all the same, we don’t get freepasses because we make video games.

No and honestly an ad like this in a fantasy setting with no real “shock” to it should be fine irrespective of who’s advertising it.
But eh it’s opinion again im not really invested in this argument

 

spooler: the original claim of “this could upset people” should never be a reason to censor anything ever.

This isn’t censorship though.. This has more to do with Broadcasting standards.. which this doesn’t meet. Meaning you can view it in Australia, you just can’t broadcast it. There’s nothing stopping consumers from seeing it directly from their official site and the game itself has been well marketed via billboards, buses, trains ect all over Australia.

This is just one thing, one very minor thing that got flagged under measures put in place to stop Euthanasia campaigns being promoted on Television, as the means to do this aren’t exactly legal..

all the developers have to do is run a different advert, there’s no problem there, no censorship at all, I can still view the advert if I’m really interested and I can do so legally at my own discretion. I don’t see where the problem is, who the hell even watches TV anymore anyway.

 

Oh boy, did anyone else watch that trailer and think WTH‽ I know what DI: R is about and what I will be getting if I bought this game, but there are a lot of people who do not and that trailer told you nothing. Actually, that trailer told you less than nothing; it told you a whole stack of information that has nothing to do with the game. Couple that with the fact that it was boring and lacking in action, an unusual move considering the action focus of the game.

The trailer is a joke and should not have been made. It feels like a fan-made piece and not something that was made by the studio themselves. This, of course, is all before you even address the suicide issue!

This developer released the same game with a new name and then makes irrelevant trailers and expects no-one to notice…

 

gammad: stop Euthanasia campaigns being promoted on Television

which is also stupid and something you should be allowed to promote and make people aware of, as it is a real issue I have seen many people suffer needlessly because euthanasia is not an option, but now i’m getting off topic.

PinothyJ: Oh boy, did anyone else watch that trailer and think WTH‽

it’s similar to the original dead island cinematic trailer which was AMAZING and moving, same thing with dead island tho the game was nothing like it, but that’s all cinematic trailers tho :S

I have wondered if they count as false advertising.

 

spooler,

“Sick of breathing? Instakill Turbo with new minty flavoured goodness will help you with that problem. Use only as directed, see your doctor if there are any side effects.”

Umm no thanks.

 
 
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