Depicting a white woman grappling with a black woman, a recent series of Sony PSP ads in the Netherlands have caused many to engage in some grappling of their own, mostly with issues and allegations of racism
. After defending
the images and claiming that they had "no other message or purpose" besides flaunting the white PSP, Sony has now confirmed that they have yanked the ads and banished them to a mysterious marketing misfire graveyard.
A Sony representative informed Gamespot
that the decision was made based on the global reaction to an ad that was largely aimed at a specific country. The representative goes on to say that Sony "further recognize[s] that people have a wide variety of perceptions about such imagery and we wish to apologize to those who perceived the advert differently to that intended. In future, we will apply greater sensitivity in our selection of campaign imagery, and will take due account of the increasingly global reach of such local adverts, and their potential impact in other countries."
Interestingly enough, Sony claims to have only received a single complaint from within the Netherlands. It's unclear as to which is the more important lesson to be learned from all of this: Is it that marketers should wear gloves when handling potentially explosive material? Or perhaps it's that the internet always has a global eye on the moves of a large and popular corporation?