In December there was a bit of a furore around the tombola arcade In-game adverts that were being seen in the I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here app.
Tom Watson, the deputy leader of the Labour party, openly criticised ITV for allowing tombola arcade to advertise in the app [read full story here]. He felt that children were being bombarded with adverts for the gambling site and as such, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) challenged if the ads were appropriately targeted.
ASA Uphold Single Complaint Regarding tombola arcade
On the ruling posted today, just one complaint was made and that was from the ASA itself.
tombola responded to the complaint by explaining that the In-game adverts were part of the wider sponsorship deal that they had secured with the popular show.
During the process of securing the deal, ITV and the media-buying agency had reviewed the age profile of viewers to see if their sponsorship was appropriate.
They then provided the ASA details of the viewing figures for 2018 and this showed that 91% of viewers were aged 18 or over. For 2017 that figure was 90%.
The full response and ruling can be read here.
Whilst the ASA seemed to accept what was being said about the audience of I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here, the issue was more around who would have downloaded and used the app.
Whilst the BARB data didn’t indicate that the show had particular appeal to those under the age of 18, they did feel that some under 18s would have downloaded the app.
It appears to be that the issue is that there were no mechanisms to target ads towards over 18’s only, or away from those under the age of 18.
CAP Codes Breached By tombola arcade
This meant that the ad breached the following two CAP Codes and cannot be used again without specific targeting parameters.
Marketing communications for gambling must be socially responsible, with particular regard to the need to protect children, young persons and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited.
Marketing communications must not:
be directed at those aged below 18 years (or 16 years for football pools, equal-chance gaming [under a prize gaming permit or at a licensed family entertainment centre], prize gaming [at a non-licensed family entertainment centre or at a travelling fair] or Category D gaming machines) through the selection of media or context in which they appear.