ASA rules in favour of Ladbrokes in Facebook slot ad

By Peter Lynch

The Advertising Standards Authority has rejected a complaint made against Ladbrokes regarding a Facebook post promoting a slot game based on the film The Goonies.

The complainant considered that the ad’s reference to the film was likely to be of appeal to those under the age of 18, and challenged whether the ad breached the Code.

But the ASA investigated the ad under CAP Code rules 16.1 and 16.3.12, and did not find it in breach, and so no further action has been taken.

Seen on 31 March 2021, the paid-for Facebook post featured an image of a nautical map with golden doubloons and a logo that stated Jackpot King, with superimposed text that stated The Goonies.

Ladbrokes said it had removed the ad in response to the complaint, but argued it had been targeted at those aged 18 and over, with the film having been released in 1985 and therefore not a current film that would be well known to children in 2021. 

In its assessment, the ASA agreed that the bookmaker had taken steps to target those aged 18 and over, and that the film was not likely to appeal more to under-18s than over-18s.

“We noted that while the ad featured “The Goonies” logo and typeface, it did not feature any characters or other imagery from the film,” a statement from the ASA read. 

“We considered that the nautical map and golden doubloons featured in the ad were not colourful, cartoonish, or otherwise presented in a way that was likely to resonate with children, and were more likely to have general or adult appeal. 

“We therefore concluded that the ad was not of particular appeal to under-18s and had not breached the Code.”

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