The particular post, shared on Buzz Bingo’s Facebook page on October 20, 2023, displayed animated visuals of a Halloween-themed setting, featuring a full moon, pumpkin figures, bats, a spider, and a graveyard. The accompanying text introduced a promotion, declaring: “MONSTER MONDAYS – £50,000 ($63,000) MUST BE WON EVERY MONDAY IN OCTOBER.”

Following its publication, a complainant raised concerns that the playful Halloween graphics might attract children, potentially violating the ASA’s advertising standards. In response, Buzz Group clarified that the advertisement was exclusively targeted at Facebook users aged 18 and above, part of a focused campaign aimed at individuals aged 25 with a confirmed interest in bingo. The company trusted Facebook’s platform to effectively reach the desired audience while minimizing exposure to younger demographics.

However, despite acknowledging the potential appeal to children, Buzz Bingo promptly removed the ad upon receiving the complaint. Additionally, they committed to refining their internal marketing approval protocols. Despite Buzz Bingo’s prompt actions, the ASA upheld the complaint, considering Halloween’s strong allure for children and the imagery’s resemblance to children’s cartoons and storybooks. The term “monster” was also deemed likely to captivate a younger audience.

Though acknowledging Buzz Bingo’s responsive measures, the ASA concluded that the ad breached the Code, emphasizing its prohibition on gambling-related marketing likely to strongly attract children or young individuals. Consequently, the ASA prohibited the ad from future appearances and advised Buzz Group against incorporating themes or visuals with substantial appeal to individuals under 18 in their upcoming advertisements.

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