Wednesday, 25 September 2019

32Red’s Jack And The Beanstalk Gambling Ads Banned By The ASA

32Red Logo

32Red casino has had two of its ads banned by the ASA for being appealing to children.

The popular online casino, which is owned by the Kindred Group, was sanctioned this week by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over two paid-for Google advertisements promoting the firm. The ads were seen back in April and were displayed when users searched for ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ on Google and the titles of other 32Red slot games.

According to reports, the ASA challenged the two ads, suggesting that the ads could appeal to children. The regulatory body also voiced concern that the ads were purposely targeting minors. 32Red argued that the ads targeted a group of Google users when corresponding search terms were entered.

The online casino firm then stated that the Jack and the Beanstalk game was classed as high-risk which meant it should have prohibited Google users from viewing the game unless they had completed an age verification. In this instance, however, the game failed to require age verification but was reportedly included on 32Red’s “list of slot games in error”.

However, the ASA recognised that 32Red attempted to remove the ad as soon as it was brought to their attention and checked that other high-risk games were also not being advertised. The ASA said: “They had put in place steps to ensure that any such high-risk titles did not appear in keyword lists for ad targeting in future.”

The ASA then acknowledged that the search term was likely to appeal to children, saying: “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.”

In the firm’s final ruling, they decided to ban the ad from appearing again. They said: “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.”

As part of the ruling, 32Red must ensure that the ad does not appear again and that any future ads must not appeal to minors or are not directed to the age group.

ASA’s Recent Rulings

The news comes just days after EveryMatrix announced it was withdrawing from the UK white-label casino market after the UK Gambling Commission suspended its license earlier this year. In an official statement from EveryMatrix, the operator described its brand as “irreparably damaged”.

Meanwhile, the Advertising Standards Authority banned two “irresponsible” gambling ads from Coral and BetIndex. We reported that a YouTube sponsored ad for BetIndex was banned for suggesting the site was a reliable source of income, and that a Coral ad was banned for supposedly encouraging irresponsible gambling.

Last month, the ASA also banned a Football Index gambling app ad for featuring young football players. The advert featured footballers Jadon Sancho (19), Callum Hudson-Odoi (18), Marcus Rashford (21), Raheem Sterling (24) and Kylian Mbappé (20). According to the ASA’s code, gambling advertisements cannot feature anyone under the age of 25.