ASA clamps down on Tombola 'I'm A Celeb' ad

ASA clamps down on Tombola 'I'm A Celeb' ad

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has reprimanded Tombola for promoting its games via an official app created for the ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!’ hit TV show.

Published 6th February 2019

Some of the adverts appeared occasionally in a section of the app where users could watch video clips. The ads featured phrases such as ‘Play Our Slot Games’ and ‘Play Our Scratch Card Games’.

Another advert appeared in the ‘Vote’ section of the app, where users could vote to save their favourite celebrity from eviction or nominate someone to take on a trial.

Tombola was the main sponsor of the 2018 series of the programme, which was aired on commercial broadcaster ITV at the end of last year.

All of the adverts featured warnings about gambling and text that stated the games were only for those over the age of 18.

Tombola argued that audience data from measurement company BARB showed that 91% of viewers were aged 18 or over, whilst ‘18+’ and ‘Begambleaware.org’ warning messages had also been included on the adverts.

Additionally, ITV Broadcasting, which published the app, said the programme was shown on television after the 9pm watershed due to potential age-inappropriate content.

However, the ASA upheld a complaint about the gambling adverts, citing the CAP Code that requires ads for gambling products not to be directed at consumers under the age of 18 and for marketers to demonstrate that they took reasonable steps to ensure this did not happen.

The ASA said Tombola “did not take 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 ads “must not be used again in the form complained of without specific targeting to minimise the likelihood of under-18s being exposed to them”, the ASA added.

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