Ukie responds to ASA ruling
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) today issued a ruling against two children's games, Moshi Monsters and Bin Weevils, after a complaint was made against the two games by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The ASA found both games had breached the Advertising Code by including direct exhortations to children to make in-game purchases.
The CMA referred the games as part of its enforcement of the principles for online and app-based games published by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in 2014. This is the only action that has so far been taken on the basis of those principles, which set out how existing consumer protection law applies in relation to 'free-to-play' business models.
Dr Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie, commented on the ruling, "The ASA ruling today is a useful piece of additional guidance for games companies about how existing laws apply to the new world of free-to-play business models. It builds on the OFT principles for online and app-based games published last year. Since the publication of those principles more than a year ago this is the only action that has been taken, and it has only required a change in language which both games have already put in place. It is good to see that the industry is clearly behaving responsibly and ensuring that children are not being served inappropriate commercial messages."
Ukie will continue to keep the games industry informed about this important issue, including through our guide to the OFT principles prepared by Harbottle & Lewis. Parents looking for information about how their children can play games responsibly and safely online should visit askaboutgames.
For further information about the ruling, or advice about CAP guidance, please visit the Copy Advice team website.