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Tombola in-app adverts banned by the ASA

The Advertising Standards Authority banned Tombola adverts appearing in the I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here app, reminding the company of future conduct in the process.

Maintaining that those under question were inappropriately targeted, the ASA stipulates that those in question must not be used again in the form complained of, without specific targeting to minimise the likelihood of under-18s being exposed to them.

Brought under question by the ASA itself, advertisements appeared in various sections of the app, with each example opening the tombola arcade website in the user’s browser app.

Responding Tombola stressed that content was part of a wider sponsorship package, with various checks having been undertaken to ascertain view age profiles, to ensure that their sponsorship was appropriate and would reach a desired market of adults 18 and over.

Emphasising viewing figures showing that 91 per cent of views fell within that targeted bracket, Tombola also stated that creative was chosen to avoid appealing to under-18s, adding “If users tried to download the tombola arcade app they could see the app was tagged with an adult age gate, and there were stringent checks in place which prevented under-18s from registering”.

Publishers ITV pointed to broadcast time of the show and audience indexing data to shows “that the programme did not have particular appeal to under-18s,” with the app’s primary purpose being on interaction with editorial.

Assessing the evidence, the ASA emphasises that despite having little appeal to under-18s, individuals in that demographic would nonetheless have downloaded and interacted with the app.

Concluding: “We understood that all ads were displayed to all users of the app; there were no mechanisms built into the app to target ads towards, or direct them away from, certain groups of users.

“In the context of an app that was likely to be used by under-18s, but which did not have a mechanism through which age-restricted ads could be targeted only to the appropriate age group, we considered tombola arcade should not have used the app to deliver gambling ads to consumers.

“We therefore considered the advertiser had not taken 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. We concluded the ads breached the code.”

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