MrQ Asked to Take Down an Ad Featuring Spiderman

MrQ’s parent company, Lindar Media, had published an ad that might have appealed to children. As a result, the United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) asked the online gambling operator to take the problematic ad down.  

Spiderman Is Recognizable Among Kids

MrQ used a famous image of three Spiderman characters pointing at one another to promote its products. The picture is a famous internet meme, often used to satirize two to three things that share the same qualities. The ad appeared as a paid promotion on Reddit and targeted young adults who are enthusiastic about internet humor. However, the ASA was concerned that the cartoon nature of the meme might unintentionally appeal to younger audiences as well.  

The ASA learned of the ad this June, following complaints. The regulator agreed that the ad might indeed make the wrong impression and appeal to children. As a result, it ordered MrQ to take it down

The ASA understood the ad was making reference to a popular meme. Nevertheless, we considered that a cartoon depiction of Spiderman, a popular comic book character, was likely to appeal more strongly to under-18s than it would to over-18s. We therefore considered that the ad, which featured three cartoon depictions of Spiderman, was likely to have particular appeal to children and concluded that it breached the Code.

ASA statement

Lindar Terminated Its Agreement with the Marketing Agency

Lindar Media later justified its beach by pointing out the ad is a product of a professional marketing agency. The operator noted that the agency specializes in targeted marketing and noted that the ad was only promoted to people who already have an interest in gambling. In addition, MrQ claimed that the agency is well-aware of the advertising rules and has made sure to not broadcast the ad to minors.

Lindar Media confirmed that its team had approved the ad but said that it hadn’t seen the exact picture. Even though Lindar Media believes the image wouldn’t have appealed to the wrong groups, it pointed out that there is another problem. According to the corporation’s marketing guidelines, the company’s advertising team is prohibited from using celebrities and popular brands for its marketing materials. Since Spiderman is a famous character, the advertising team should have never used the image to promote MrQ’s products. As a result, Lindar Media ended its contract with the marketing agency.

Lastly, a Reddit spokesperson said that his company hasn’t received any complaints regarding the ad. However, the social platform agreed that such adverts might miss their target audience and introduced a new rule that prohibits the use of cartoon characters in gambling ads.

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