Sony quickly pulled an innuendo-ridden ad from its European PlayStation YouTube channel, The Verge reports, presumably because of spot’s obvious sexist connotations.
The ad, which first went online Friday and was soon set to “private,” can still be viewed elsewhere on YouTube (watch it below). It features an attractive brunette “doctor” who at first appears to be suggesting the viewer has been furiously masturbating: “I bet you’ve already done it today. Or are you afraid you’re doing it too often? In your bedroom under the blankets? Or perhaps you prefer the kitchen or the toilet? Or do you like it in the garden?”
The clumsy reveal at the end is that of course she wasn’t being sexually suggestive: No, she was talking about the Remote Play feature on the PlayStation 4 that allows users to play games anywhere, via their PS Vitas and Xperia Z smartphones.
As the Verge points out, if Sony’s intention was to prove that everyone — including attractive women (Shock! Horror!) — can be a gamer, then it has completely mis-stepped here. It makes assumptions and potentially offends everyone: that gamers are sex-starved teenagers who see women as nothing but sexual objects and that women can only be included in the gaming conversation if they’re drop-dead gorgeous.
As Kwame Opam of the Verge writes: “Even if the doctor merrily joins in on the fun (gaming, that is), it’s after the fact — she’s a sexy lady first and a gamer second, never fully eroding what the target is.”
The ad’s release comes at the height of debate around sexism in the gaming industry.
Terrible timing, a terrible concept, and a terrible ad. No wonder Sony has quickly ripped the video from its YouTube channel.
Sony did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The European advertising account for PlayStation has been handled by 180 Amsterdam since 2011. It is not clear whether this is the agency that created this particular spot.
The PlayStation ad bears a striking resemblance to a similarly controversial 2010 ad from Xbox 360 that claimed “Everyone is doing it.” Again, the accusation wasn’t about sexy time, but playing computer games. Compare and contrast:
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