UK Ad Regulators Come Down Hard on ‘Kid-Friendly’ Gambling Ads
The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has been busy working to insure that Britain’s youth aren’t lured into a life of debauched gambling by images of cartoon leprechauns, fish and wizards. The offending images were used in games offered by Coral Interactive, a division of GVC Holdings as recently as February of this year.
According to a complaint lodged with the ASA, most likely by an anti-gambling organization, the cartoonish images used in the games, Rainbow Riches, Fishin Frenzy and Lucky Wizard were, “were likely to be of particular appeal to children.”
This claim was vigorously disputed by Coral Interactive representatives who pointed out that the images used on the games in question were not designed to resemble any particular children’s characters and were no more likely to appeal to children than to adults. Company officials went on to explain that some of these games had already been revised via internal processes to address these exact issues.
The ASA, however, was completely unmoved by any of the arguments Coral Interactive presented. While upholding their original admonition, the ASA pointed out that the animations in question featured, colorful elements and cartoonish smiles that were likely to draw in unsuspecting children (much like the candy house in Hansel and Gretel). In particular, the ASA took umbrage with the wizard image andh its, “…large podgy nose, exaggerated cheekbones and had a thick colourful ginger beard with a long moustache with slightly curled tips.”
Despite the strong words regarding cartoon smiles, the ASA let Coral Interactive off with a warning to keep things less attractive to children as they move forward.
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