Digital Advertising

E-commerce platform Wish hit with another ASA ban for ‘inappropriate’ smartphone game ads

By Sam Bradley | Senior Reporter



ASA article

April 17, 2018 | 3 min read

A ad has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for inappropriate targeting, just one week after the watchdog warned the e-commerce platform over its “apparent disregard” for its guidelines.

The ad in question, promoting a ‘penis extender’, appeared in November 2017 within home electronics app Peel Smart Remote, and puzzle game apps 2048 and Crazy Cake Swap. The apps, the ASA said, “were likely to have a broad appeal to all ages including children.” Indeed, the recommended user age of 2048, was four years plus.

E-commerce platform Wish banned by ASA for ‘inappropriate’ smartphone game ads

Last week, the ASA banned three Wish ads after finding they contained “offensive and irresponsible” imagery

2048’s publisher Ketchapp said that it had “no control over the ad and had little influence over ads that were served to individual players,” calling on ad servers and advertisers to take responsibility for targeting. Ketchapp’s gaming apps have now each had their age rating increased to 12 years plus, the company said.

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According to the ASA, the ad featured an “animated image of a penis” as part of diagram explaining the uses of the product. ContextLogic Inc, owner of the brand, did not respond to any of the ASA’s enquiries.

The company claims to be the sixth largest e-commerce platform on the web.

The ASA subsequently ruled that the ad “must not appear in an untargeted medium.” The watchdog has told Wish to ensure that ads that were inappropriate for children to see were targeted accordingly, before referring the matter to the Committee of Advertising Practice’s (CAP) Compliance Team.

Last week, the ASA banned three Wish ads after finding they contained “offensive and irresponsible” imagery alongside pictures of children. One of those ads also promoted an elastic support product which “was purported to make the penis appear larger.”

The ASA repeated its statement that it was “concerned by’s lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code.”

Digital Advertising

Content created with: The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the self-regulatory organisation of the advertising industry in the United Kingdom. The ASA is a non-statutory organisation and so cannot interpret or enforce legislation. However, its code of advertising practice broadly reflects legislation in many instances.

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