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ASA issues sanctions for ‘sexualized’ ads on mobile gaming sites

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By Hannah Bowler | Journalist

August 30, 2022 | 3 min read

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has sanctioned the mobile gaming platform Higgs Technology for an in-game ad that “objectified women” just two weeks after banning a similar spot from Playorcas.

ASA bans Higgs Technology ad for "objectifying" women

ASA bans Higgs Technology ad for ‘objectifying’ women / ASA

The animated ad for the mobile app game Cube Master 3D – Match Puzzle showed a woman trapped under puzzle tiles who appeared to be naked. The ad suggested solving the puzzle would uncover the naked woman. The accompanying copy stated: “I can’t get her out!”

The complaint said the ad was overly sexualized and objectified women, questioning whether it was offensive and irresponsible. The ASA upheld the complaint, claiming that the ad “included a harmful stereotype by presenting the female character as a sexual object in a scenario designed for the sole purpose of titillating viewers.”

The ASA added that the character was depicted as a “passive, voiceless figure subjected to a degrading situation.”

Higgs Technology’s ad ban follows the ASA’s action against fellow mobile gaming site Playocras for its spot for Infinity 8 Ball, which featured a sexualized female cowboy.

As with the case of Playcoras, Higgs Technology was unable to identify the ad network that served the ad and neither could the developer of the game the ad was seen in. Furthermore, in both cases, the developer claimed that there might have been issues with miscategorization, allowing the ads to bypass its own ad blockers.

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