Feeds

Disney download rapped for cost and clarity

ASA slams Mickey Mouse outfit

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

The Walt Disney Company has been censured by the UK advertising watchdog for not making clear that a children's mobile phone game cost £5 in its advertising.

Disney broke Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) rules on truthfulness and pricing and was told to change its advertising. The ASA also told the company to make sure parental consent was given for expensive game downloads.

Disney advertised two sets of games available for download to mobile phones. A complaint was made to the ASA that the cost of the games was not made clear and that the advertising was irresponsible because it appealed to children who could download the games without adult permission.

The company argued that the signs advertised mobile internet links not to the games themselves, but to sites which explained what the games were and that they cost £5. It also said the brochure which contained the ads was aimed at parents, not children.

"We considered that it was unclear that the ads were simply an invitation to find out more about the games and that the charge mentioned in the ad was for an initial text message only," said the ASA ruling.

"We concluded that the ads should have either included the full cost of downloading the games, or explained clearly that the cost referred to in the ads was the cost of gathering information about the games and a further charge would apply to get the games on your phone."

Disney told the ASA that the advertising was designed for adults. It said that the wording of phrases such as 'Indulge your little princess with her own special carriage this Christmas' or '…costumes and accessories for your little pirate' made it clear that the brochure was for adults.

The ASA did not accept Disney's argument. "It was available in store and its distribution was therefore not restricted to adults only and because some of its content spoke directly to children, the brochure was, at least in part, addressed to or targeted at children," said the ASA ruling.

"Given that, and because the games were complex and costly products, we concluded that adult permission should have been obtained before children were committed to purchasing them," it said.

Disney was told to include the full cost of games in future advertising and to find a way to make sure that adult permission was granted before children were able to purchase such costly games.

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know
What do you mean, we've ditched Redmond in favour of IBM?!
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.