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Friday, 24 November, 2000, 11:59 GMT
Sony drops Santa advert
A group of Father Christmases
Santa: Sony feared viewers might dislike rough treatment
A series of adverts which show Father Christmas being kidnapped have been dropped by Sony after an American cable TV network refused to air some of them.

The adverts are used to advertise a Sony website selling audio and video equipment.

Sony advert
Santa Claus is kidnapped and put into the boot of a car

They show the red-suited Santa being chloroformed and dumped into the boot of a car.

The captors then play a series of cruel games with the blindfolded Santa, including football and using him as a target for golf practice.

A spokeswoman for Sony Electronics told the Wall Street Journal that the adverts were "edgy".

She said the company grew "concerned that consumers might misinterpret the edginess and irreverence of the campaign and may even be offended".

She admitted that within Sony there had been doubts about the campaign.

"The reaction affirmed the reservations it had internally," she said.

The text of the adverts read: "We have Santa. Shop at SonyStyle.com or there will be no X-Mas."

It is not known which cable network refused to show the adverts but the ad campaign was due to be shown on MTV, ESPN and the Discovery Channel.

Sony is not the first company to have pulled an advert after concerns about its message.

Earlier this year Nike dropped an advert which parodied the Friday the 13th film series after it received more than 2,000 complaints.

The advert featured American runner Suzy Favor Hamilton who is chased by a man in a hockey mask with a chainsaw.

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19 Sep 00 | Americas
Olympic Nike chainsaw ad axed
24 Nov 00 | Business
Playstation 2 sweeps into Europe
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