The self-regulatory organization of the advertising industry in the United Kingdom, Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), has reportedly sanctioned British online casino company 32Red for breaking rules relating to marketing to children.
A pair of ads for the Gibraltar-licensed company that appeared when initiating a Google search for the term “Jack and the Beanstalk” have been banned due to their potential to appeal to children.
According to the Daily Mail…
…the company ran two paid ads on the search engine promoting its high-risk online slot game based on the English fairy tale, which promised a sizeable bonus of up to £150 for players trying the game for the first time.
Apparently, the ads for the online game as well as references to the classic children’s fairy tale that appeared as early as 1734, showed up on the same search pages.
The ASA’s ruling published on Wednesday stated…
‘We considered that because it was a highly popular classic children’s fairy tale, the inclusion of a reference to Jack and the Beanstalk meant that the ads were likely to be of particular appeal to children.
‘The ads were served to those who entered “jack and the beanstalk” into the search engine. Because it was a highly popular classic children’s fairy tale, we considered that there was a strong possibility that this search term would be input by children, or adults who were accompanied by a child.
‘We therefore considered that, by targeting ads to search engine users who used that term, 32Red had not specifically and carefully targeted the ad only at those aged 18 or over, and had therefore directed gambling ads to those aged under 18 years of age.’
The watchdog agency added…
‘The ads must not appear again in the form complained of. We told 32Red Ltd to ensure their gambling ads did not have particular appeal to those aged under 18 years of age and were not directed at those aged below 18 years of age through the selection of media or context in which they appeared.’
According to the Daily Mail, 32Red admitted its mistake and removed the advertisements when it was made aware of them. The company also reportedly checked to make sure that there weren’t other high-risk games being advertised. And that steps had been put in place to ensure that any high-risk games did not show up in keyword lists for ad targeting at a later date.
Kindred Group subsidiary:
32Red Online Casino is owned by the Kindred Group Plc., which along with 32Red Sport, 32Red Bingo and 32Red Poker Room, also operates various brands including the newest addition, British online company, Roxy Palace. The virtual casino has held a license in Gibraltar since 2002 and additionally operates under a UK Gambling Commission License.