Online petting zoo game Moshi Monsters has been told by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to reword its in-game ads for paid memberships.
Boasting over 80 million players worldwide, the game, largely marketed to 6 to 12-year-olds was reprimanded by the UK ad watchdog over several membership prompts. Mind Candy, the studio behind Moshi Monsters, wants players to sign up to a subscription system that gives them access to exclusive in-game content.
Moshi Monster’s in-game prompt for players to ‘JOIN NOW!’ was seen as more of an instruction rather than an invitation given the nature of the app’s largely minor userbase.
The watchdog said: "The ASA welcomed Mind Candy’s willingness to amend their advertising in light of the concerns raised… the descriptions of the benefits contained phrases such as 'The Super Moshis need YOU' and 'Members are going to be super popular'.
“We considered that these put pressure on young players to purchase the subscription that would allow them to take part in this aspect of the game. In light of these elements, we concluded that the game, including the membership page, presented children with direct exhortations to purchase membership subscriptions.”
As a result Mind Candy is restricted from sharing the ad again in its current form.