Ladbrokes overturns ban for casino ad featuring Iron Man

Ladbrokes has overturned a ban of its email ad that features Marvel superhero Iron Man after assuring the standards watchdog that the betting promotion was only targeted at adults.

The bookmaker’s email promoting Ladbrokes casino was banned last August by the Advertising Standards Authority because it would appeal to young people even though the email was only sent to people aged over 18. 

However, a new ruling published today has overturned that judgment in August because the ASA is satisfied that, even though the gambling ad would appeal to children, it would not be seen by them.

Today the ASA said: "…we noted that the ad was sent by email only to registered customers and others who had been validated as being over 18 years of age.

"Unlike other media that was not directed at children or young persons but that they could nevertheless be exposed to, we considered that in this instance Ladbrokes had targeted the email to ensure it was extremely unlikely that anybody under 18 years of age would see the ad." 

The email featured a picture of Iron Man, from the 2013 movie Iron Man 3, alongside the text: "Enjoy this exclusive Ladbrokes welcome offer with Iron Man 3". The ad promoted "10 free spins + 90 spins extra".

When the ASA launched an investigation last year in response to one complaint, Ladbrokes argued the Iron Man image was "adult-themed" and that Marvel comics and superheroes were predominantly followed by adults.

However, the ASA said: "We understood that Iron Man was a popular character that would appeal to many adults but considered its comic book nature, and the availability of various related toys, meant it was likely to have particular appeal to children and young people."

Nevertheless, the ad did not breach the relevant CAP code on gambling as the ad would not be seen by children and young people, the ASA ruled.

Subscribe today for just $116 a year

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to , plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a subscriber


Don’t miss your daily fix of breaking news, latest work, advice and commentary.

register free