Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sony Takes Down Controversial Billboards

By Cesar Mendoza, main news editor
Category: News » Sony » PSP » Industry
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Sony have withdrawn the controversial PSP ads that caused the company to be accused of racism and has issued an apology. See inside for more.

In an unexpected move, Sony has pulled the controversial PSP ads that were displayed in the Netherlands after issuing a statement defending them and has now issued an apology for putting the ads up in the first place. The billboards depicted a white woman and a black woman (representing the white and black models of the PSP) in hostile poses towards one another and in one billboard, the white woman seemed to dominate the other. While shown only in the Netherlands, the ads nevertheless prompted accusations of racism from commentators all over the world.

In addition to pulling down the ads, Sony has issued the following statement:

Whilst the images used in the campaign were intended solely to highlight the contrast between the different colors available for the PSP, we recognize that the subject matter of one specific image may have caused concern in some countries not directly affected by the advertising. As a result, we have now withdrawn the campaign.

We further recognize that people have a wide variety of perceptions about such imagery and we wish to apologize to those who perceived the advert differently to that intended. In future, we will apply greater sensitivity in our selection of campaign imagery, and will take due account of the increasingly global reach of such local adverts, and their potential impact in other countries.

One of the harshest critics of Sony’s ad controversial ad campaign, California assemblyman Leland Yee, commended Sony for their response: “I am pleased to see Sony taking responsibility for their racially charged ad and appropriately pulling it from the marketplace. Sony did the right thing by recognizing their insensitive mistake and apologizing for offending many of their customers.”

And thus ends what has no doubt been another nightmare for the marketing gurus over at Sony Computer Entertainment. With noise raised in the past over a series of TV ads featuring squirrels, a viral grafitti campaign as well as a set of posters including one that suggested that the PSP features facilitate pornography and another that could be interpreted as an invitation to suicide, the PSP has rarely been free of controversy. This comes as a result of a deliberate push to be edgy, but time and time again, Sony has fallen off the edge. Let’s hope they learnt their lesson this time.

Source: Gamespot

Written by Cesar Mendoza, main news editor


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