Online bingo firm Tombola has felt the wrath of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), after ads it placed on an ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!’ app were deemed to target children.

“Ads which were displayed occasionally in a section of the app where users could watch video clips included one headed “PLAY OUR SLOT GAMES” which featured images of masks, an animal skull, vase, compass, map and glass, and one with the text “Play our scratch card games”. Both included the text “tombola arcade proudly sponsors I’m A Celebrity”, “begambleaware.org Terms apply. 18+” and featured the logos of the Google Play and Apple App Store,” the ASA ruling explained.

“An ad which always appeared in the “Vote” section of the app stated in large text “A CHANCE TO WIN A SHARE OF £250,000 FOR FREE CLICK HERE”, with small text underneath which stated “18+ begambleaware.org T&Cs apply” and “tombola arcade proudly sponsors I’m A Celebrity”.

“Clicking on the ads opened the tombola arcade website in the user’s browser app. The ASA challenged whether the ads were appropriately targeted.”

Upholding the ruling, the ASA detailed that “The CAP Code required that ads for gambling products such as those offered by tombola arcade must not be directed at those aged below 18 years through the selection of media or the context in which they appeared.

“The ASA therefore considered that marketers should be able to demonstrate that they had taken reasonable steps to ensure that gambling ads were directed at an audience aged 18 and over so as to minimise under-18s’ exposure to them.”

Tombola was told to ensure its ads were “appropriately targeted” in future.