An advertisement for a mobile app game that appeared to show a man about to hit a woman with a chair was banned for trivializing and tolerating domestic violence.
The in-app ad for Gold And Goblins, seen in apps Hooked Inc: Fishing Games and Quizzland in September, included a video of a woman playing a game on her cell phone, while behind her a man took a chair. and drew it over her head as if to hit her with it.
The ad then showed the man looking at the phone over the woman’s shoulder as she continued to play.
Two complainants, who believed the ad encouraged domestic violence, said it was offensive and socially irresponsible.
AppQuantum Publishing said they will immediately stop running the ad on all of their platforms.
They said they wanted the ad to be humorous in nature and apologized for any offense it may have caused.
Lion Studios, the developer of Hooked Inc: Fishing Games, said it has allowed third-party advertisers to post ads in their mobile app games.
Lion Studios said they believe it is the responsibility of ad platforms and advertisers to ensure that ads comply with applicable laws and regulations, and have taken steps to prevent them from appearing in their games.
Familia App Developers, the developer of Quizzland, said they have updated their settings to prevent similar ads from appearing in their games in the future.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said: “The ad showed a man about to assault a woman, and we considered that consumers would understand from the context of the framework that this was because his attention was focused on the game she was playing, rather than on the man.
“We considered that such a reference used in an advertisement for a mobile app game trivialized and tolerated the serious and sensitive topic of domestic violence.
“This was likely to cause a serious and widespread infringement, and we considered that the advertisement was not prepared in a socially responsible manner.
“We therefore concluded that the ad violated the code.”
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