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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 March, 2005, 07:46 GMT
Game given pre-watershed ad ban
Screenshot from San Andreas
The game is set in the fictional city of San Andreas
Adverts for a violent computer game have been banned from being shown on television before the watershed in the wake of complaints from viewers.

The 18-rated game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, has been criticised in the past for its violent content.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) was asked to investigate after receiving eight complaints about two adverts featuring game extracts.

They were shown before 2100 GMT when children could have been watching.

We could understand the parents' concerns that it was inappropriate for young children to see this level of violence in advertising for a product which was only available to adults
ASA

One advert was described by the ASA as showing "general scenes of violence and the use of guns" while the other showed the spraying of graffiti and "use of guns in drive-by shootings".

Complainants included parents who said the adverts were shown at about 1830 GMT while their children watched Scrapheap Challenge on Channel 4.

"We could understand the parents' concerns that it was inappropriate for young children to see this level of violence in advertising for a product which was only available to adults," the ASA said.

"The advertising was shown in breaks around programmes which, although not designed specifically for children, were considered to be acceptable family viewing."

It had decided on the ban "to reduce the likelihood" that young children would see the advertisements, it added.

'Threatening atmosphere'

Originally, industry body the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre, decided the adverts should not be shown during programmes made specifically for children.

But it decided against a blanket restriction to a later time.

On Wednesday, the ASA said it had banned the adverts until after the watershed because it was concerned about their "threatening atmosphere".


SEE ALSO:
GTA sequel is criminally good
02 Nov 04 |  Technology
Hunt for Grand Theft Auto pirates
21 Oct 04 |  Technology
Grand Theft Auto comes under fire
04 May 04 |  Scotland
Vice City motors home in Baftas
26 Feb 04 |  Technology
Grand Theft Auto excels on Xbox
20 Feb 04 |  Technology


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