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Sony defends PSP ad following accusations of racism

Wed 05 Jul 2006 12:20pm GMT / 8:20am EDT / 5:20am PDT

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Sony Computer Entertainment has defended itself against accusations of racism over a controversial advert for the new 'Ceramic white' PSP.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Sony Computer Entertainment has defended itself against accusations of racism over a controversial advert for the new 'Ceramic white' PSP.

The advert, which has appeared on billboards in the Netherlands, shows a white woman gripping a black woman by the jaw and features the slogan: "PlayStation Portable White is coming." Many websites and forum posters have protested that the advert is racist and are campaigning for its removal.

A Sony spokesperson has responded by stating that the ad does not have a racist message and that is part of a wider marketing campaign, telling GamesIndustry.biz: "The marketing campaign for the launch of the White PSP in the Benelux focuses on the contrast between the Black PSP model and the new Ceramic white PSP model."

"A variety of different treatments have been created as a campaign to either highlight the whiteness of the new model or contrast the black and the white models. Central to this campaign has been the creation of some stunningly photographed imagery, that has been used on large billboards throughout Holland."

According to the spokesperson, "All of the 100 or so images created for the campaign have been designed to show this contrast in colours of the PSPs , and have no other message or purpose."

It seems the controversial ad is unlikely to appear outside Holland, with a representative from Sony's UK office telling GI.biz: "I would like to confirm that we categorically are not running this advert creative in the UK."

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