Ladbrokes advert featuring Iron Man cleared by watchdog

By Josh Fisher
The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has reversed a ruling which banned a Ladbrokes email advert featuring the comic book hero Iron Man.

The bookmaker’s marketing was banned last August amid fears the Marvel character would appeal to children, despite the fact that the email was only sent to people over the age of 18.

However, the ASA has now issued a ruling overturning last year’s judgment.

Today the ASA said: “We noted that the ad was sent by email only to registered customers and others who had been validated as being over 18 years of age.

“Unlike other media that was not directed at children or young person but that they could nevertheless be exposed to, we considered that in this instance Ladbrokes had targeted the email to ensure it was extremely unlikely that anybody under 18 years of age would see the ad.”

The email featured an image of Iron Man alongside an offer of free spins at Ladbrokes’ casino site.

Ladbrokes argued that the ad reflected popular culture, adding that evidence indicated that followers of Marvel comics and superheroes were predominantly adults.

Although the ASA had first rejected these arguments, the regulatory body is now satisfied Ladbrokes took the necessary precautions.

A Ladbrokes spokesman said: “We are pleased with the decision.”

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