A now banned ad for mobile game Gold and Goblins features a man readying to strike an unsuspecting woman over the head with a chair.
The advert which appeared in the games ‘Hooked Inc: Fishing Games’ and ‘Quizzland’ has been accused of “trivializing and condoning” domestic violence.
The Gold and Goblins ad began with a woman innocently playing a game on a mobile phone when a man suddenly charges toward her swinging a chair toward her head. Just as she’s about to be hit by the man, he loses focus, inescapably drawn to the game playing on her phone. Following this, the ad cuts to regular gameplay footage.
Two complainants believed the advert which was seen in the Hooked Inc: Fishing Games and Quizzland apps encouraged domestic violence. They also took issue with the advert being generally offensive and socially irresponsible to air.
In response to this, Gold and Goblins publisher, Publishers App Quantum, apologized for any offence caused and said the ad was meant to be humorous in nature.
Though despite the ad being widely perceived as unfunny, Publishers App Quantum can laugh their way to the bank as they’ve taken home a cool AUD $9,000,000 in revenue from this single game alone. Gold and Goblins is also just one of many successful mobile free to play titles Publishers App Quantum has produced.
Ruling on the matter, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that the ad “must not appear again in its current form.”
This decision was made because it was likely to cause “serious and widespread offence.”
The ASA also said, “The ad depicted a man about to assault a woman, and we considered that consumers would understand from the context of the setting that it was because her attention was focused on the game she was playing, rather than on the man.”
Speaking on how the controversial ad saw the light of day, the developers of Hooked Inc: Fishing Games said they were not in any way affiliated with App Quantum but allowed third-party advertisers to publish ads in games which aren’t reviewed or pre-approved internally.
Rather than accept responsibility for the distasteful ad being shown on their game, Hooked Inc: Fishing Games developer has squarely put the blame at the feet of the advertisers themselves.
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