Duke Nukem Forever ad banned from primetime TV

ASA says "sexually explicit" animated advert can no longer be shown before 11pm

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a digital animated TV advertisement for computer game Duke Nukem Forever from being shown before 11pm.

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The most explicit version of the ad, shown after 9:30pm, features naked woman pole dancing, two girls in school uniform about to kiss and a variety of violent scenes involving automatic weapons and bomb attacks on cities.

The ASA received 34 complaints about the ad from viewers who complained it was sexist, violent and potentially harmful to young people.

Despite having greenlit both the post-7:30pm and 9:30pm versions of the ad, the ASA has now agreed that the scenes showing “women’s naked bodies and their very sexual movements and gyrations were overly sexually explicit” and that those involving the girls about to kiss “appeared to link teenage girls with sexually provocative behaviour”.

The authority did, however, feel that the violent scenes were no more extreme than much of what is shown after the 9pm watershed.

Take Two Interactive, who made the Duke Nukem Forever ad, said the sexual content was deliberately “exaggerated [and] non-realistic” and that the central character was a “1980s, muscle-bound, ultra-macho figure of fun”.

The company said the British Board of Film Classification had given the game footage used in the advert an R18 rating and claimed it was typical of “mass-market entertainment such as TV, film or music videos”.

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The popular games franchise was launched in 1991 by Apogee Software. It has gone through 12 different incarnations and been available in some form on virtually every console and games platform imaginable. In 2010, the rights were acquired by Gearbox Software who produced Duke Nukem Forever in partnership with Take Two Interactive.