Advert for mobile app game banned for trivialising domestic violence

An ad for a mobile app game that appeared to show a man trying to hit a woman with a chair was banned for belittling and condoning domestic violence.

The in-app advertisement for Gold And Goblins, featured on the Hooked Inc: Fishing Games and Quizzland apps in September, featured a video of a woman playing a game on her phone while a man picked up a chair behind her and drew him back over his head as if to hit her with it.

The ad then showed the man looking over the woman’s shoulder at the phone as she continued to play.

Two complainants, who believed the complaint promoted domestic violence, described it as offensive and socially irresponsible.

AppQuantum Publishing announced that it will immediately stop displaying ads on all platforms.

They said they intended the ad to be humorous and apologized for any offense it might have caused.

Lion Studios, the developer of Hooked Inc: Fishing Games, said they are allowing third parties to post ads on their mobile app games.

Lion Studios said they believed that the ad platforms and advertisers had a responsibility to ensure that ads were compliant with applicable laws and regulations and that they took steps to prevent them from appearing in their games.

Familia App Developers, the developer of Quizzland, said they 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 trying to attack a woman, and we felt that, from the context of the environment, consumers would understand that their attention was more focused on the game, the she played as with the man.

“We believed that such a notice, used in an ad for a mobile app game, trivialized and condoned the serious and sensitive issue of domestic violence.

“This likely resulted in serious and widespread abuse and we felt that the ad was not produced in a socially responsible manner.

“We have therefore come to the conclusion that the report violated the code.”

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