ASA Finds Buzz Bingo Advert Breaches Rules Targeting Children

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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the United Kingdom (UK) regulator, has upheld a complaint against the gaming operator Buzz Bingo for an advert shown in 2023.

The advertisement from Buzz Bingo, part of the Buzz Group, was called “Monster Mondays” and featured a Halloween-themed setting, offering a top prize of £50,000. The animation contained a moon scene and a graveyard with witches' hats, bats, and pumpkins with faces, and it was shown on the group’s Facebook media platform on October 20th last year.

Once the advertisement had been aired, the ASA received a complaint that the theme and animation of the promotion may appeal to children and encourage them to be drawn to gambling.

Buzz Group Targeted Advert

When challenged by the ASA about the advertisement, the Buzz Group responded by saying the campaign was only run on Facebook and restricted to those over 18s, and the operator targeted the over 25s.

The gaming operator also stated that the promotion displayed the responsible gaming logo for the BeGambleAware organization in a prominent position, which also includes the message that the game is made for 18-year-olds and over.

The ASA upheld the complaint, stating the images used in the cartoon were likely to appeal to the under-18s, and because Facebook only relies on self-verification of age, the gaming operator could not be certain only players over the age of 18 would see the promotion.

We considered Halloween and the traditions surrounding it were likely to have strong appeal for children. Furthermore, the style of cartoon imagery used in the ad was reminiscent of children’s cartoons and storybooks. We also considered that the term “monster” was likely to appeal to children. For those reasons, we considered the ad was likely to be of strong appeal to children.

StatementAdvertising Standards Authority

The ASA concluded that the Buzz Group was prohibited from running the advertisement again in its current form. The advertising regulator also warned the gaming operator that any future promotions should not include any images or themes that are likely to appeal to children.

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