ASA Removes Gala Spins’ “Irresponsible” Video Ad After Finding It Particularly Appealing to Children

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a complaint against a gambling operator for using an advert that could be found particularly appealing to underage individuals. The gambling advert, which features fluffy animals, has been suspended after the regulator tagged it as “irresponsible”.

The Gala Spins ad, which appeared as a paid-for post on Facebook, was seen by the complainant on August 12th, 2020. The post included a video that features five toy animals, as well as a caption “It’s a rollercoaster of cuteness!”

The person who filed the complaint to the ASA challenged whether the video advert could be considered irresponsible since children could find it particularly appealing.

LC International Ltd trading as Gala Spins explained that they posted the advert on their official Facebook account, which was aimed at customers who were over 18 years old. The company, which is part of British gambling giant GVC Holdings, further shared that the aforementioned age restriction is supposed to immediately prevent underage individuals from accessing and viewing the Gala Spins page.

Gala Spins shared that the video was an out-of-date one that was posted in error. Furthermore, the gambling operator revealed that the video ad was part of a multi-channel campaign that targeted British female users aged between 18 and 65 who had been interested in retail and online gambling. As for the stuffed toy animals, they appeared between seconds four and six.

The gambling operator reassured that since the aforementioned campaign took place, the ad had been taken down on all channels.

ASA Finds Gala Spins’ Video Ad in Breach of Children Protection Code Rules

The Advertising Standards Authority investigated the case and reminded that under the CAP Code rules gambling operators need to make sure their ads are not likely to be found particularly appealing to children. The regulatory body further noted that gambling ads are not allowed to reflect or create an association with youth culture that could make them appeal more strongly to under-18s than to adult customers.

At the time of the probe, the advertising watchdog found that the controversial ad was not seen in an age-protected environment, as Gala Spins had targeted the video advert at adults between 18 and 65 years of age. However, the ad’s targeting was made after customers had confirmed their age themselves and there were no other prohibitions on underage individuals accessing it. According to the ASA’s findings, the steps taken could not ensure that under-18s were not exposed to the advert, especially in case they lied about their age.

After making all these findings, the regulatory body took into consideration the facts in terms of their compliance with the Code’s requirement that gambling adverts must not be found particularly appealing to children.

According to the watchdog, the imagery used in the video ad was likely to appeal to underage individuals, with the name of the game – “Fluffy Favourites” – and the “It’s a rollercoaster of cuteness!” caption used in the video being likely to enhance that appeal. Because of those factors, the ASA said that in their opinion the advert was given a child-like theme and breached CAP Code rules 16.1 and 16.3.12.

The ASA upheld the complaint, taking down the advert and reminding the gambling company that it must make sure it does not upload it in its current form anymore.

  • Author

Olivia Cole

Olivia Cole has worked as a journalist for several years now. Over the last couple of years she has been engaged in writing about a number of industries and has developed an interest for the gambling market in the UK.
Daniel Williams
Casino Guardian covers the latest news and events in the casino industry. Here you can also find extensive guides for roulette, slots, blackjack, video poker, and all live casino games as well as reviews of the most trusted UK online casinos and their mobile casino apps.

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