news\ Jan 16, 2013 at 5:15 pm

UK Wii U ad banned for misleading GamePad-only gameplay

Wii U Black Gamepad

Why can't Nintendo catch a break with the Wii U? Nintendo's first TV spot for the Wii U in the U.K. has been banned by ASA, the U.K. Advertising watchdog, for being misleading. The report by Wii-Consoles says that the minute-long commercial highlights the ability to play a Wii U game entirely on the GamePad instead of the TV, with New Super Mario Bros. U being the game in the commercial. That's good and fine, right? After all, New Super Mario Bros. U is able to be played solely on the GamePad. 

That's not the way the U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority sees it. The ASA is an independent watchdog group that regulates advertising in the U.K., and they received a complaint that the ad was misleading. The complaint was that the ad implies that all Wii U games are able to be played solely on the GamePad. As many of us know, that's not true. Developers have to program that feature into their games. While games like Scribblenauts UnlimitedNBA 2K13 and New Super Mario Bros. U are able to be played solely on the GamePad, most games for Nintendo's new console don't support that feature, like ZombiU

The ad states: "...and say someone wants to watch TV when you're half-way through a game... do both and everyone's happy." Nintendo of Europe's U.K. branch defended the ad to the ASA. They believe that the average consumer would understand that the feature isn't available on all games. Clearcast, the organization who approved the ad prior to it airing, didn't think the commercial implied that all of the features work with every Wii U game.

That's not stopping the ASA, who disagrees vehemently. They claim that since the Wii U is a new console -- with 'new' being the most important aspect here -- consumers watching the ad for the first time can't be expected to know that not all features shown aren't for every game. The outcome of all of this is that the ad "must not appear again in its current form" in the U.K.

You can follow Senior Editor Lance Liebl on Twitter @Lance_GZ. He likes talking sports, video games, movies, and the stupidity of celebrities. Email at

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Lance Liebl Ray. If someone asks if you are a god, you say, "yes!"
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