The UK advertising regulator told a gambling operator an advertisement should not appear again in its current form as it is likely to be of particular appeal to children. The ruling issued by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) related to a paid-for Facebook post by Gala Spins in August, stated that the ad in focus was in breach of Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code rules 16.1 and 16.3.12.
Child-Like Theme on an Age-Restricted Page
The ruling is related to an advertisement posted on Gala Spin’s Facebook page, August 12, titled “It’s a Rollercoaster of Cuteness!”, which also included a video with a text stating “Gala Spins” and “What’s your spin?”, and after the text appeared another, “Fluffy Favourites” showing 5 toy animals.
ASA received a complaint arguing the content of the advertisement was likely to be of particular appeal to children, requested explanation from the gambling operator, GVC Holdings’ brand Gala Spins, and was told the ad was posted on the operator’s Facebook account which is for audience over the age of 18.
Gala Spins also claimed the age restriction automatically prevented children from seeing the advertisement, while the video with stuffed animals was posted by mistake, and for it to run and show the animals, viewers would have to play it.
The 8-seconds video was part of a multi-channel campaign targeting females in the UK over the age of 18 who have interest in gambling and online gaming, and analytics provided by the operator showed it was viewed only by women and none of the viewer was underage. Gala Spins noted the ad had been taken down from all channels since then.
Self-Reported Restriction No Guarantee
Referring to the CAP Code, the advertising regulator pointed out gambling ads should not be of particular interest to children or young persons, more so being associated with youth culture. Gambling ads should appeal to adults more than to under-18s, and despite the claim from the operator that the content was restricted from underage viewers, ASA stated the restriction happened on a self-reported base.
Any under-18s who falsely reported their age were not prevented from seeing the ad, ASA concluded in its explanation why it further considered the ad’s compliance with the requirement set forth in the Code that gambling ads must not be of particular appeal to children.
The regulator ruled the cartoon-like images of 5 stuffed toy animals were likely to appeal to underage persons, the name of the game, as well as the advertising caption were likely to strengthen that appeal, concluding the ad had a child-like theme, hence, irresponsible and in breach of the Code.
ASA told Gala Spins to be more careful to ensure in the future that their ads did not appeal particularly to underage persons, in addition to the ruling that the ad in focus should not appear again in its current form.
Earlier in October, the independent advertising regulator issued rulings against gambling ads from Foxy Games and Betfair Casino, stating the advertisements represented irresponsible gaming practices.