Advertising Standards Authority takes action on sexist mobile ads

The Advertising Standards Authority in the UK has found several advertisements for mobile phone games that may cause “serious or widespread offence” due to harmful gender stereotyping.

An advertisement for a game, Refantasia: Charm and Conquer, is described as having featured an “anime-style image of a young woman in a cage” chained and with torn clothes, which was the subject of particular criticism.

The captions referred to “my master” and were accompanied by text describing the person as a “little girl”. The ASA judged the character to be a person under the age of 18 depicted in a sexual manner.

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In response, Refantasia developer Oasis Games said it was a Chinese company that publishes games internationally and conducted an investigation which “unveiled a disconnect between their marketing team and their team. location” which it had now “taken care of”.

The app icon for Refantasia: Charm and Conquer.

The company apologized for the announcement, which appeared on Twitter. As for Twitter, it said it was unable to locate the ad because it was a self-promoted tweet which was later deleted and did not comment further.

Another ad, this time for a game called “King’s Throne: Game of Conquest”, featured two women in lingerie acting as quiz hosts, standing next to words with missing letters such as “D_CK” .

A third, for “Airline Commander: Flight Game”, featured a video of porn actress Mia Malkova in a “revealing cowboy outfit” encouraging users to download the game and play.

In any case, the ASA ruled that the ads could no longer appear, with the developers of said games being warned not to portray gender stereotypes that objectify and sexualize women.

Each week, the ASA publishes a list of cases where it issued a formal ruling on ads that broke the rules.

Equally interesting, if more opaque, is a list of well-known companies with which it has “informally resolved” issues – usually because said companies have quietly agreed to edit or remove offending adverts before an investigation. formal takes place.

Over the past week, this list includes Samsung, Currys Group, Boohoo, British Gas, B&M and Carlsberg, among a number of others.