A Ladbrokes email advertisement featuring Iron Man, a famous Marvel superhero, was banned last year when the standards watchdog felt that the betting promotion was targeting children. The gambling operator has now been able to prove the ad only targeted adults and has seen a ban on the advertisement overturned.
Last August, the Advertising Standards Authority banned the bookmaker’s email ad stating it appealed to young people, despite the fact that the email was sent only to individuals over the age of 18. A new ruling has now overturned the decision as the ASA now recognizes that the ad is not seen by children.
This week in an email, the ASA stated that they have noted the ad is sent via email and will only go to registered customers and others who are validated they are over the age of 18. The group basically ruled that Ladbrokes targeted the email to ensure that it was highly unlikely that the advertisement would be seen by anyone younger than 18 years of age.
The email advertisement featured a photo of Iron Man, a depiction from Iron Man 3, a movie created in 2013. The ad was created to promote 10 free spins + 90 spins extra on the slot machine and stated: “Enjoy this exclusive Ladbrokes welcome offer with Iron Man 3”.
One complaint prompted the investigation by the ASA with Ladbrokes arguing that the image of Iron Man was adult-themed as the Marvel comics and superheroes are predominantly enjoyed by adults. The ASA responded that they understood the character would appeal to adults but considered it comic book material and available in toy form which meant it would have some appeal to young people, including children.
The ASA has now ruled that the ad does not breach the CAP code on gambling as it will not be seen by anyone underage.