‘Banned’ Ad: Tennis, Breasts, Desperation Collide

Last week 2K Sports rolled out the latest version of its Top Spin tennis simulation video game.

Serena Williams 2K Sports Commercial

(Video game trailer or marital aid advert? You make the call.)

Right, no idea.

Yesterday, a week after the official unveiling of the game, a racy promotional trailer featuring Serena Williams and actress Rileah Vanderbilt suddenly appeared online. The cover story pushed by 2K Sports to various gaming sites was that actress Vanderbilt had deliberately leaked the video after 2K Sports decided not to distribute the ad.

From the site Joystiq.com:

An advertisement for Top Spin 4 has made its way onto the internet, but it’s not what one would call “official.” Featuring Serena Williams, the ad was definitely made with 2K Sports’ money and effort. We’ve attempted to get an official statement from 2K Sports, but the company doesn’t appear to want to talk until it’s eliminated every instance of the video from the internet.

The ad was originally posted on YouTube by the actress featured in the commercial — apparently she wasn’t satisfied with 2K Sports’ decision to cancel the public release.

Update: 2K Sports’ official statement: “As part of the process for creating marketing campaigns to support our titles, we pursue a variety of creative avenues. This video is not part of the title’s final marketing campaign and its distribution was unauthorized.”

Translation: 2K Sports deliberately created an absurdly racy ad to drum up interest in the game but didn’t have the courage to officially endorse the commercial because of possible public backlash.

Does Serena Williams really want to be associated with a company that blatantly trafficks in her sex appeal but then denies it was behind the idea?

I have no problem with the ad or the game.

It’s the dishonesty from 2K Sports I could do without.

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