The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has sanctioned GVC’s Gala Spins brand over a social media ad that had the potential to appeal to children.
The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a Facebook ad from GVC’s Gala Spins which had the potential to appeal to children.
The Gala Spins ad
The Gala Spins ad appeared in August as a paid-for post on the social media platform Facebook. The ad included a caption which said “It’s a Rollercoaster of Cuteness,” alongside a video that featured text saying “What’s your spin?” in reference to the game Fluffy Favourites and images of five toy animals.
The ad received a single complaint that challenged whether the content of the ad could appeal to children.
In response to the complaint, Gala Spins said the ad appeared on its official Facebook page that was age-gated so that only people over the age of 18 could view it. The operator also stated that it posted the video featuring the stuffed animals in error and added that this video was out of date.
Gala Spins noted that the ad was part of a wider multi-channel campaign aimed at UK females between the ages of 18 and 65 who have an interest in gambling. The brand also provided analytics revealing that no one under the age of 18 had seen any of the ads in the campaign.
Gala Spins have since taken down the ad across all channels.
The ASA’s ruling
Despite the action taken by Gala, the ASA upheld the complaint, referring to the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) provision that states gambling ads must not appeal to children or young persons through associations with youth culture.
The ASA said it understood the ad was not seen in an age-gated environment and outside of the brand’s Facebook page and aside from this the operator took steps to target a specific age group.
However, the ASA said that while the ad was based on an age group that had self-reported their age, there were no prohibitions on under-18s. Therefore the steps taken by Gala were not enough to ensure underage users who input a false age were not exposed to the ad.
The ASA also explained that the inclusion of cartoon-like imagery of stuffed toy animals would likely appeal to under 18’s and the name “Fluffy Favourites” and the caption “Rollercoaster of Cuteness” could strengthen this appeal to children.
The ASA ultimately ruled that the ad had a child-like theme and could be of particular appeal to children, meaning the ad was in breach of rules 16.1 and 16.3.12 of the CAP Code.
In conclusion, the ASA said that the ad must not appear again in its current form and warned Gala Spins to ensure future adverts do not appeal to under 18’s