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SBD/31/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing
SEGA NHL '95 AD CRITICIZED FOR GOING OVER THE EDGE
Published March 31, 1995
A new 30-second ad for Sega's NHL Hockey '95 which depicts an action-packed game starring Tie Domi of the Winnipeg Jets, is criticized by Antonia Zerbisias of the TORONTO STAR. The spot, produced by McCann-Erickson, has a narrator saying: Hockey without a little mayhem is really nothing more than (Cut to men in sequins skating to violin music) figure-skating." Then, according to Zerbisias, as a sequined male figure skater lands in Domi's arms, "the bruiser bares his teeth and growls, the figure skater goes flying, thuds onto the ice and, just as he passes out, lisps 'Thega.'" Zerbisias writes, "Now video game violence is old news. So, too, is video game sexual stereotyping. What's different here is that we have violence aimed at stereotypical gay male images." Sega VP/GM Jeff McCarthy says the company never meant to offend and notes that the original concept of the ad was to have, instead of Domi, Tonya Harding as the hockey- playing "brute." But the NHL "nixed the idea" (TORONTO STAR, 3/31).