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Julie Moraine September 25, 2019 3 min read
32Red Violates ASA Regulation with Google Ads
- ASA suspends Jack and the Beanstalk ad
- 32Red reprimanded for appealing to minors
- Regulators focused on stopping any advertising attempts targeting children – directly or contextually
Kindred-owned casino and gambling company 32Red has been warned by ASA for appealing to underage and minor individuals with two now-removed sponsored Google ads featuring ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’.
ASA Warns 32Red for Breach of Advertising Rules
The UK’s media watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has reprimanded Kindred Group-owned 32Red casino brand for issuing paid ads that were perceived as high risk and potentially exposing underage individuals to gambling products.
The specific ads that ASA targeted were related to Jack and the Beanstalk which appeared on Google as sponsored content. Google paid ads featuring 32Red appeared when the search term ‘jack and the beanstalk’ was entered. Both ads linked back to the casino’s website and the 150% sign-up bonus.
ASA argued that using these specific terms for paid advertisement had the potential to reach individuals younger than 18, which is the legal age for gambling in the United Kingdom.
32Red responded by pointing out that the game had been included by error, but explained that the company had rigorous identity verification processes in place so as to prevent any underage individual from gaining entry into the casino.
However, ASA introduced significant changes to its policies on April 1, 2019, in order to achieve better protection of individuals deemed too young to be exposed to gambling products.
32Red Complies with ASA Demands
The brand confirmed that the advertisement was removed as soon as ASA approached it. In 2018, 32Red was fined £2 million over failures to meet certain regulatory standards. The penalty was issued by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).
32Red took full responsibility and assured that wrongful featuring of paid ads would not happen again. ASA stressed the severity of the issue by explaining the link between the popular Jack and the Beanstalk Slot by NetEnt and the children’s fairy tale by the same name.
Despite the criticism, ASA acknowledged that 32Red had responded promptly given the circumstances. While the agency still holds the gambling operator to be in breach of Rule 16.1, part of the CAP Code. According to ASA, 32Red also broke other rules, and specifically 16.3 and 16.3.12, and 16.3.13.
All of these rules focus on protecting minors. Ads cannot appeal to underage and minor individuals directly or even contextually. Meanwhile, Kindred has recently undertaken a new initiative designed to spread awareness about responsible gambling by using 32Red-partnered soccer clubs and ask them to display various messages focusing on safe gambling practices.
ASA Gets Tougher on Regulating Ads
Since 2018, ASA has been putting a bigger emphasis on how ads in the casino gambling space are regulated. There have been several instances in which ads have been found to be too appealing to children, including in the case of Coral’s ‘Lucky Wizard’ video slot, William Hill’s promotion placed in a Mario Kart app, and a gambling website which had a Hansel and Gretel and Red Riding Hood ads.