A report in Marketing Week suggests that an upcoming investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) into violence in advertising has been launched in response to the government's investigation into violent games. SPOnG has spoken to the ASA and can confirm that this is not the case.
SPOnG was told by a spokesperson for the ASA in no uncertain terms that the report, which will stem from a debate to be held on November 21st, is not a response to the Byron report. "The seminar is not in response to the government's investigation", SPOnG was told. We were informed that the seminar had been planned in advance of news of the Byron report.
It was confirmed that the advertising of violent games will be included in the broad sweep of the debate - as the ASA's website states - but only as one topic among many.
The seminar "will bring together the ASA's senior executives with delegates who have a personal or professional concern about the use of violent imagery in advertising" according to the ASA. It is being done independently of the government and will be hosted by the ASA's chairman, former culture minister, Chris Smith.