Simon's Cat app rapped for random 'racy' advert
Single complaint prompts unenforceable ruling. Good job!
The Simon's Cat Crunch Time app accidentally served up a racy advert – earning the American advertiser a symbolic bollocking from Blighty's ad watchdog because children might have seen it.
The advert featured "an image of a fake tattoo which looked like a bite mark on a woman's chest", according to the Advertising Standards Authority.
One person complained, demanding the regulator investigate whether it had been "targeted responsibly" after its appearance on the Simon's Cat app, which has a PEGI 3 rating (suitable for all ages).
Simon's Cat is a lovable cartoon feline, the very epitome of innocent fun thanks to his mischievous antics. The game in the app is based on the player helping the hungry kitty find his treats.
"The publisher of the app, Strawdog Studios, said they had not intended to display the ad to their users and explained that it had been served through a third-party Application Programming Interface (API)," explained the ASA. "Their setup with the API was intended to filter out ads like the one complained about."
Wish.com, the advertiser, ignored the ASA – unsurprising given that the clothing retailer is an American company headquartered in San Francisco.
The ASA ruled that Wish.com ads "must not appear again in an untargeted medium". Good luck enforcing that one against an overseas business buying commodity ads. ®