The British advertising watchdog says that the endings and the adverts match up just fine.
Although the untempered rage that seized the internet after it finished Mass Effect 3 has (thankfully) simmered down to a low growl, a few outstanding issues still remain. One such issue is the claim several irritated fans made to the British Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) during the fracas which alleged that EA and BioWare had "misled" fans by touting how player choice would "shape the outcome" of the trilogy. Now, having deliberated on the matter, the ASA has ruled that EA and BioWare did not mislead anyone in their advertising.
According to the ASA, a total of three "complainants" brought forward official complaints about the advertising. Their case, says the agency, came down to deciding whether or not the statements in the game's pre-launch advertising (things like "the decisions you make completely shape the experience" and "your choices drive powerful outcomes") were "misleadingly exaggerated" by EA and BioWare.
In deciding its verdict of "claim not upheld," the agency took into account the various potential endings of Mass Effect 3, which it describes as being "thematically quite different," in addition to all of the smaller choices the player makes on their way to that final point. In the game, all of these things are underpinned by the player's Effective Military Strength (EMS) score, which changes depending on what the player does in-game. These factors, coupled with the variables involved in the genophage affair and the Geth/Quarian conflict, led the ASA to rule on the side of the developers.
That's that, it would seem. The ASA says that players were given enough choice based on what they were told they would get; EA's advertising department can sleep easy, and we can all get back to either forgetting and/or reminiscing about the endings as we so choose until the Extended Cut DLC appears this summer (at which point we'll either start the whole process over, or cry tears of space-joy and agree to just all be friends again. Here's hoping for the latter, right?).
Source: Advertising Standards Agency UK