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UK ad regulators ban Tombola 'I'm a Celebrity' app ad

The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is banning a Tombola ad promoting an app for the reality show, “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here.” The ASA contends that the app opened a potential portal to the world of gambling to more than one million underage Brits. It’s also another stark example of the increasingly strict enforcement of gaming laws and regulations in the UK.
Regulators at the ASA were peeved to find that Tombola was sponsoring the “I’m a Celebrity…” app that viewers use to vote on the winners and losers of the show. The app also included a link to some “I’m a Celebrity…” branded casino games, as well as a link to Tombola’s site.
While critics suggest that the app is a magnet for underage gambling, Tombola officials say that’s not the case. They point out that they worked with ITV to insure that their advertising only appeared on products and shows that had an adult audience of 91 percent or more.
That distinction was not enough to please critics like Labour deputy leader, Tom Watson, who told the Guardian, “Gambling ads should not be on apps that will clearly be used by kids. It’s simple.”
On their website, the ASA addressed the complaint against Tombola saying, “We considered Tombola Arcade should not have used the app to deliver gambling ads to consumers,” the ASA said. “We therefore considered the advertiser had not taken sufficient care, through the selection of media, to ensure that the ads were directed at an audience aged 18 and over so as to minimise under-18s’ exposure to them.”
The ad is now history and is another cautionary tale for UK-facing operators who want to advertise their wares in the increasingly unfriendly UK market.