Adult dating site Lay Matures has been chastised by the ad watchdog for running two racy pop-ups within online gaming apps which are widely played by young children, under the strapline “mature women who always say yes”.
The first ad, which appeared within the apps Jewels Legend and Jewel Star 3, included an image of a woman sitting on a bed, alongside text which stated: “Lay Matures…mature women who always say yes…Find women.”
The second ad, which appeared within the app Strike Galaxy Attack Fighters, included same text, alongside an image of a woman sitting astride a bannister.
Two complainants contacted the Advertising Standards Authority and challenged whether the ads had been irresponsibly placed in an untargeted medium which was inappropriate for their audience.
Lay Matures’ parent company Bulova Invest received its first rebuke for failing to respond to the ASA’s enquiries, and apparent disregard for the advertising code.
Jewels Legend and Jewel Star 3 apps are games where players match identical jewels, and are rated as PEGI 3, meaning the content of the apps is considered suitable for all age groups. Strike Galaxy Attack Fighters is a top–down air combat shooting game rated as ‘12+’.
The watchdog said that given the content of the apps, they were likely to have a broad appeal to all ages including children. Any ads, therefore, that appeared within these apps should have been suitable for children, it ruled.
Banning the ads, the ASA said: “We were concerned that ads for an adult dating service that used such wording had not been flagged as appropriate only for adult audiences, and considered that the combination of the images with that wording meant that the ads were not appropriate to be seen by children. Because the ads had been placed in apps that children could be using, we concluded that they had been placed irresponsibly, in breach of the code.”
Bulova Invest was warned to ensure that ads that were inappropriate for children to see were appropriately targeted. The issue was referred o the CAP Compliance team.
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