back to article Nipples and teen lesbians sexy even when ironic, ASA rules

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 …


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  1. h4rm0ny

    Sex bad...

    Vilolence good!

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Increase in world population due to procreation - bad...

      Reduction in world population due to acts of senseless violence - good!

      Yes, the ASA are green.

      1. Anonymous Coward 101

        More like...

        ...Reduction in world population due to acts of senseless wanking - bad!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hmmm, we seem to be turning into America

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

      Ohnoes!!1! Won't someone think of the children?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

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

        sounds like a pretty standard Saturday night out around these parts. Good times :)

    3. stucs201

      Or as I once heard someone say

      Showing people being nice to each other will get you an 18 rating much faster than showing them killing each other.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sex is only "good" when its done by popstars so it seems. Then it has a "meaning". The more you undress the more popular you can become (at least you can expect some good media coverage). Singing? Duh, who cares about that; that's sooo 1980's.

      Well, just call me old fashioned :P

  2. Z-Eden

    These censorship guru's always have me confused.

    So gunning things down, general death and mayham are fine but show a bit of nipple and good lord are you in trouble. How dare you corrupt the children!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Reminds me of when Carmageddon was released in Europe. Germany was not allowed to show blood being squished out of people as they got run over, it had to be green.

      So it's OK to drive over people and generally act like a psycho in an automobile, so long as it's green blood not Claret!

      1. defiler


        Yeah - carmag got censored all over (not just in Germany) with green blood and "zombies". Didn't exactly take long for someone to grab the artwork out of the demo (with people and blood) and stuff that into the main game. Worked with the 3DFX Glide patch too.

        Them were the days!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well, the German version did not include people - the green fluid came from driods, which replaced all human beings walking the streets in the game.

        1. defiler

          German Carmageddon

          Droids? Seriously? I didn't realise that. The UK version had all the people changed out for zombies. And some guy working for the local newspaper in Birmingham called Alan Pope I think (too lazy to look it up right now) went on a crusade regardless with the glorious soundbite "ban this sick filth!"

          Needless to say, the box I picked up had a sticker on it saying:

          BAN THIS SICK FILTH! - Pope

          Classic marketing. :)

    2. Marvin the Martian

      I don't see why kissing schoolchildren should even be mentioned.

      It's not like its depiction is anywhere near breaking any law. Or am I missing an obvious point?

      1. Graham Marsden

        @Marvin the Martian

        Regrettably, now, under one of the Thought Crime laws that Blair's minions brought in, "two girls [...] dressed in school uniform and [...] about to kiss" could be classed as kiddie porn since they're in school uniform, so it's possible to assume that they're under age.

        What this does to St Trinian's films I don't know, but it's probably not good.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "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."

    Should have read:

    "The game should not be displayed again in the general release slot of game stores, it ruled. However, it OK'd the game for bargain-bin display".

    1. Annihilator Silver badge

      Further correction

      "The product should not be displayed in the general release slot of game stores, it ruled, judging that it barely passed as a game and so was breaching trading standards"

  4. Andrew Baines Silver badge


    Crap game, needs provocative advert. Nuff said.

  5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    "pole dancers, schoolgirl lesbians and multiple nipple flashes"

    Bored already.

    "The ad regulator said it had received 34 complaints"


    1. Delbert

      can we protest

      It's a historical fact in the UK that a disproportionate amount of credence is given to the wishes of a tiny minority of 'moral guardians' unelected protectors of the majority its a pity there is no way to answer back to put things into perspective like pointing out that free choice is just that free . if you don't want to know about a game with pixelated naked dancers then look away. 50 million viewers swayed by the wishes of a few hundred.

  6. Nextweek

    Whats the point in the ASA?

    By the time they make their rulings the advertising campaigns are over.

    1. tmTM


      Perhaps thats the point tho, the advertiser gets to run the campaign to completion then in 6 months time when it's all been forgotten and they don't care the ASA says it was naughty.

      The advertiser and company don't loose out and the ASA appears to be doing something to protect our innocent minds.

      The real question is who bothers to file a complain against a computer game advert - do they not realise that not even the watchdog gives a damn about it?

    2. spiny norman

      What's in a name?

      The whole thing is set up so pretty much the only complaints that get through are the "think of the children" moral outrage type, or so blatantly untrue that only a moron could possibly be misled. And, as you say, by then the campaign is over.

      If they had genuinely been set up to protect standards, they would have powers to proactively can cringingly awful adverts on grounds of protecting the nation's mental health. I'm sure many Reg commentards would willingly join a judging panel if asked.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        @spiny norman - here's my manifesto!

        I promise to get rid of the following:

        1. The one for ("choo-choo-choose" ... a mini-gun!)

        2. Anything for 118118

        3. Any advert containing meercats, especially ones with stupid accents.

        Vote early, and vote often!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think it is so that

      advertisers can get more bang for the buck on their ads.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a robot

    ... marching through a street, this is, this is... DISGUSTING! Disgusting, disturbing and, and... revolting, yes! I was only lucky cause me son was out in his room playin this dukethem thingy, so he didn't have to witness this obscenity. But, nevertheless! Where can I complain? :(

  8. GettinSadda


    This sounds like the sort of stuff you get on the X-Factor most weeks, even before the watershed. But you can't show animated versions of the same stuff in the ad breaks, even post-watershed?

    1. Not That Andrew
      Big Brother

      Because cartoons and video games are EEEEVIL! (officially so thanks to the latest "Extreme Pornography" laws)

  9. Natalie Gritpants Silver badge

    What's with the pixelated bottoms

    I anybody really offended by a bum? I'm not talking about goatse but just normal buttocks. They even did it on the X-factor, whereas I would rather they pixelated Louis Walsh into oblivion.

    1. BorkedAgain
      Thumb Up

      "I would rather they bulldozed Louis Walsh, Simon Cowell and the whole god-awful bunch into a pit and set fire to them..."

      There, fixed that for you.

      (I might actually watch that...)

  10. mark 63 Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    34 complaints?

    34? is that a lot? is that public outrage levels?

    So all i have to do to get my competitors adds banned is complain 34 times?


    I bet in this case it was John Carmack prepping for his 'Rage' release

    1. myhandle
      Thumb Down

      Totally agree

      34 complaints should read as having an implicit 50 million or so thumbs up. I wonder if when cool ads like that happen you can send the ASA an anti-complaint/thumbs up and cancel out the idiots complaints?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        not quite

        34 complaints should read as 50 million or so saying 'meh'

        lack of complaint != approval

        However, like the idea of upvoting an ad.

  11. Anton Zeelie

    So 34 people complained.

    What percentage of the UK population is that? Approximately 5.67e-5 % which is completely negligible.

    And then the broadcasters/advertisers/etc have to make changes?

    I think there is a HUGE number of people who for example thinks soap operas on telly should be banned, as it is tasteless etc - this won't ever happen.

    Please - OFT, if you get at least 1% of the population complaining, MAYBE then you can start asking for changes, but this absolute minority of people should be told to wake up, smell the coffee and grow up.

    There are MUCH bigger issues in the country that needs to be addressed, and I am sure that there are THOUSANDS of people who agree on these changes, but said issues won't ever be addressed....

    1. Annihilator Silver badge


      If only 34 people watched it, that would be quite high.. Right argument, wrong baseline.

      Besides, I thought it was pretty much established fact that according to the Daily Mail metrics, one complaint = 1 trillion offended people. So we can safely assume that 34 trillion people were offended by this :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I watched it, and didn't complain.

  12. nichobe

    Duke Nudem

    Scenes in the ad included "digital representations of naked women pole-dancing in a strip club and a full frontal view of a CGI woman wearing only thong-style pants"

    For those who haven't seen it -

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Someone needs to show these muppets what is an explicit advert

      These are by the way _ALCHOHOL_ adverts:

      Some rather sh*** vodka:

      Some local "toxic waste":

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the point.....

    of advertising a game on TV? Do they actually think that gamers watch TV?

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: What's the point.....

      Ah, but that is the source of the (tiny number of) complaints. What happens is the missus insists on some "quality time" together (i.e., not staring at the back of the gamer's head), so you end up pretending to enjoy one of her fatuous soaps in order to placate her. Imagine how angry she gets when her "quality time" is interrupted by said Duke Nukem ad. The numbers say it all - a grand total of 34 gamers were being forced to suffer "quality time" during the run of this ad campaign!

  14. Bernard M. Orwell

    O Rly?

    "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."


    I have two words in response....

    Music. Videos.

  15. Graham Bartlett

    Can we have another complaint?

    The game was offensively crap. (Hell, I didn't get the attraction last time around either.)

  16. Captain Underpants
    Thumb Down

    I particularly liked "the ad appeared to link teenage girls with sexually provocative behaviour" - sounds like an awful lot of the teenage girls I went to school and university with. And frankly, if the worry is that someone's taking social protocol lessons from a post-watershed Duke Nukem advert, we may as well admit at that point that society as an overall structure has already failed completely.

    1. PsychicMonkey
      Big Brother

      I'm glad I read before posting....

      I was going to make the same point, although I wasn't lucky enough as a teenager to know many, I know via my wife (and to be fair just looking around these days) that teenage girls are linked with sexually provacative behaviour.

      If thats right or wrong is a different debate, but seeing it in an advert isn't going to change how things have been for at least the last 20 years, and more like the last 40 years.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "the ad appeared to link teenage girls with sexually provocative behaviour"

    lol, I suggest they walk down the street

    1. Dave Bell

      Or watch one of the original St Trinians movies.

      St. Trinians v. Duke Nuke'em? We know how that will end

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        @Dave Bell

        "St. Trinians v. Duke Nuke'em? We know how that will end" - Yep: with the girls on top!

  18. Johan Bastiaansen

    Porn for beginners?


  19. Lamont Cranston

    "the ad appeared to link teenage girls with sexually provocative behaviour"

    Just imagine that. Won't somebody think of the childr... on second thoughts, that likely to get people in trouble.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sex for the kiddies

    The whole reason video game makers use sex in the games is to get the hormone crazed kiddies... of all ages, to blow their wad of cash on Vid games.

  21. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    You think 34 is bad

    One person in Canada complained about Dire Strait's "Money for Nothing" and it's permanently banned from airplay across Canada!

    1. Tom 35

      Out of date.

      It was appealed and the ban lifted.

    2. Stephen W Harris


      Money For Nothing... sometimes on airplay the word "faggot" is distorted so you can't hear it. There's also a version of the song without that verse at all which gets played a lot.

  22. Pat 4

    It doesn't really go far enough. In my opinion, the whole game itself should have been banned due to poor taste, poor plot, poor graphics, poor playability, poor design, and being an overall total piece of shite.

    Seriously... I didn't even bother finishing it... eeeeeeech...

  23. Hollerith 1

    The ASA...

    ...the bunch who allowed Body Shop to claimtheir aromatherapist 'research' was 'science' and they could show them in lab coats as if they were the equivalent of medical researchers.

    At that point I gave up on them.

  24. Annihilator Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Ironic nipples and teenage lesbians

    What makes nipples and teenage lesbians ironic per se?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm going to need to watch this now


  26. BorkedAgain
    Thumb Down


    I'm offended by all those ridiculous cosmetic ads. "Inspired by Gene Science" means precisely nothing. They could equally well say "inspired by potato waffles" or "inspired by the thought of gullible idiots giving us silly money for cold cream."

    But these are ads that really, actually, do harm impressionable folk who end up believing that a box of hair dye from Asda will give you the results that Cheryl Cole has to rely on four hours with stylists and hair extensions to achieve...

    Go figure. Then consider lodging a complaint with the ASA. ;)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I came to the conclusion some time ago that Gene Science was someones name, changed by deed poll.

    2. Shakje

      I get mad at the toothpaste adverts as well. The ones where the actor says "I'm a dentist" while the tiny little text at the bottom says it's a dramatisation. That makes my blood boil because at least in cosmetics adverts pretty much everyone knows it's bullshit, right?

      Can we organise some sort of mass complaint against a specific advert? 100 people or so should set a precedent against them.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The problem isn't so much the content though, its getting it rammed down your throat when watching the telly. If others want to go and buy the game or watch the trailer thats none of my business, but quite often you don't get a choice about what ads get shown to you until too late.

    Its right and proper that the public have a say about what ads are appropriate, even if they are wrong in your not so humble opinion. If you want to go and watch porn, then do it in private. I don't want to be constantly surrounded by sexual images. But I guess I'm in a diffent catagory from most of the reg readership not being a 14 year old w@nker.

    Lets be honest, this game was designed to be offensive, at least to some people. That's the whole point of it. Unfortunately, its offensive to everyone else as well 'cos its rubbish.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: AC

      ".....but quite often you don't get a choice about what ads get shown to you until too late...." Wrong on two levels.

      Firstly, ad campaigns are targeted - they do a deal with Sky/Virgin/ITV/C4 to get certain timeslots on certain channels, aiming for certain demographics. For example, they won't put an ad for Duke Nukem on the buy-crap-jewellery-shopping channels as the audience are largely dim-witted women with zero interest in gaming. But, they will want to target times and channels where programs popular with the demographic are shown (Scyfy, Sky1, etc), so if you happen to like that same type of program then you're right in that demographic.

      Secondly, you could watch ad-free TV such as the BBC. Well, if you have a low threshold for entertainment, that is. Or simply close your eyes and put your fingers in your ears the minute the ads come on. No-one is forcing you to watch pixellated gyrating lesbians with or without their nipples on display.

  28. Cheshire Cat

    As a parent...

    ... I would far rather my impressionable children saw a picture of two girls kissing than a picture of people being blown up by soldiers with blood flying everywhere.

    But then, I'm not american...

    1. Oninoshiko

      That's OK, the ASA is a UK organization.

      But don't let little things like "facts" get in the way of your nationalistic prejudice.

      1. Spanners Silver badge


        An excessive amount of our establishment thinks it would rather be in America than Europe.

        I just look at a map and know that I am a European.

        Boobs before bombs!

  29. Oninoshiko


    "An argument, which if extended, would suggest most male porn stars are actually post-modernist comedians."

    I don't know... have you ever heard Ron Jeremy? He's a pretty funny guy.

  30. Angus Nicolson


  31. Angus Nicolson



  32. Wombling_Free

    Just like the bible then, eh?


    Violence = BIG thumbs up, great, kill people, stone them, dismember, sacrifice your own children to evil gods.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I think the 34 people that complained should be investigated as repressed kiddie fiddlers if they thought that was in the slightest sexual and provocative. They have serious problems!!!!

  34. This post has been deleted by its author

  35. R J Tysoe
    Paris Hilton

    "sexist, violent and overly explicit and included imagery which was likely to harm children and vulnerable people" - so a fair advert for the game then.

    The ASA have banned them from showing an advert again, for a game that's already tanked. How likely were they to throw good money after bad by showing the advert again anyway? Oh wait... This is Duke Nukem we're talking about, throwing good money after bad was in the project plan.

  36. graham crocker

    Teenaged Girls Sexually Provocative !!!

    Full marks to the ASA for putting a brake on this disgraceful notion that teenaged girls might be sexually provocative.

    This is clearly a step along the slippery slope of behaviour that could lead to copulation, pregnancy and the continuation of our species.

    What is the world coming to?

  37. AhSoul

    Who even watches adverts anyway? Hardly anyone I know watches TV live these days thanks to Sky+ or the freeview equivalent.

  38. Tom Jasper

    Whoooaaaa - Baby Milk Feeding bottles....

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If the girls are in an adult club then they will be adults...

    Girls kissing is not illegal, last time I checked/Googled, even at school.

    The only thing not allowed to be shown entering a body is a penis.

  40. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    I've seen TV adverts for "adult chat line" phone numbers

    (So have you)

    And they are cartoonish and over the top.

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