Advertising watchdog the ASA has moved to ban an advert for Nintendo’s Wii U console over a complaint that its stated ability to switch gameplay from the TV to a GamePad controller was not a universal feature as implied - but limited to select games.
Despite the ASA claiming that the TV commercial was devised by Nintendo's European agency Agent Orange. It stated: “Say someone wants to watch TV when you're halfway through a game ... do both, and everyone's happy”, a line which the ASA decreed to be misleading – despite protestations from Nintendo that the ad was simply showing the functional capabilities of their hardware.
In their response Nintendo stated that their promotion featured other features which varied from game to game and that consumers would understand these would not be present in all games.
In their judgement the ASA said: “The ASA considered that it would be clear to consumers that many of these features would not be available in all games. However, we considered that the option to switch gameplay to the GamePad controller could be available on all games, and as this was a new console consumers would not have an awareness of whether this was something specific to individual games or a general feature of the console.
“We considered that, in this context, the ad should have made clear that this feature would not be available on all games. Because it did not, we concluded the ad was misleading.”