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Misleading Xbox 360 ad banned by ASA

Rented movie timings not clear to new consumers, says watchdog

The Advertising Standards Authority in the UK has banned an Xbox 360 advert for misleading consumers.

The ad for downloadable movies did not clarify that film content is only available to the viewer for a limited time of 14 days or 24 hours after being watched.

"The ASA noted the ad did not state that movies, once downloaded, could be kept indefinitely but considered that this could be the interpretation that some viewers would take; that they would remain on the Xbox 360 hard drive, available to watch again and again until they chose to delete them," stated the ASA.

Although current Xbox 360 owners are aware that movie content can only be stored on the Xbox 360 hard-drive for a limited time, this wasn't clear to new purchasers of the system, the ASA found.

"Because the ad focused on the Xbox 360 download function and new users could be influenced to purchase on the basis of being able to download and keep movies, we considered that the time limitation to play downloaded movies and the fact that they were being rented rather than bought were significant conditions that should have been clarified in the ad.  

"Without that information, we concluded that the ad could mislead," said the ASA.

The advert cannot be broadcast again in its current form.

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Matt Martin


Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.