32Red Google ads banned for appealing to children

NetEnt slot game jack and the Beanstalk
Sam Gascoyne
by Sam Gascoyne Last updated:

Jack and the Beanstalk Google advertisements heavily scrutinised and banned by ASA

32Red have this week had two of their paid-for Google adverts banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The adverts were deemed to appeal to children, as they appeared when people using Google specifically searched for the term 'Jack and the Beanstalk' in Google, 

It has been said that the ads, which were meant to promote the popular NetEnt slot game Jack and the Beanstalk, were "not specifically and carefully targeted", appearing alongside search results that were clearly directed at children under the age of 18 or parents who may have been browsing alongside their young children.

32Red's response

Upon having the offending ads brought to their attention they were swiftly removed and 32Red informed the ASA that the game were classified as high-risk, and as such could only be accessed by age-verified customers.

A spokesman for Kindred, the company that owns and runs 32Red said: "We take a lot of care to make sure that games like this, which could appeal to under-18s, are not seen by people below that age. 

"On this occasion, an error meant that it could be seen on a third-party website for a short period of time. We put this right as soon as we were alerted to it. We regret this happened and have taken steps to make sure this does not happen again. 32Red takes its responsibilities extremely seriously."

A strong possibility that the search term would be input by children

The ASA's ruling stated: “They said they removed the ads as soon they were brought to their attention and also checked that other high risk games also were not being actively advertised. They had put in place steps to ensure that any such high risk titles did not appear in keyword lists for ad targeting in future.

“Because it was a highly popular classic children’s fairy tale, we considered that there was a strong possibility that this search term would be input by children, or adults who were accompanied by a child.

“We therefore considered that, by targeting ads to search engine users who used that term, 32Red had not specifically and carefully targeted the ad only at those aged 18 or over, and had therefore directed gambling ads to those aged under 18 years of age.”