Disney download rapped for cost and clarity

ASA slams Mickey Mouse outfit


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.


Other stories you might like

  • DuckDuckGo tries to explain why its browsers won't block some Microsoft web trackers
    Meanwhile, Tails 5.0 users told to stop what they're doing over Firefox flaw

    DuckDuckGo promises privacy to users of its Android, iOS browsers, and macOS browsers – yet it allows certain data to flow from third-party websites to Microsoft-owned services.

    Security researcher Zach Edwards recently conducted an audit of DuckDuckGo's mobile browsers and found that, contrary to expectations, they do not block Meta's Workplace domain, for example, from sending information to Microsoft's Bing and LinkedIn domains.

    Specifically, DuckDuckGo's software didn't stop Microsoft's trackers on the Workplace page from blabbing information about the user to Bing and LinkedIn for tailored advertising purposes. Other trackers, such as Google's, are blocked.

    Continue reading
  • Despite 'key' partnership with AWS, Meta taps up Microsoft Azure for AI work
    Someone got Zuck'd

    Meta’s AI business unit set up shop in Microsoft Azure this week and announced a strategic partnership it says will advance PyTorch development on the public cloud.

    The deal [PDF] will see Mark Zuckerberg’s umbrella company deploy machine-learning workloads on thousands of Nvidia GPUs running in Azure. While a win for Microsoft, the partnership calls in to question just how strong Meta’s commitment to Amazon Web Services (AWS) really is.

    Back in those long-gone days of December, Meta named AWS as its “key long-term strategic cloud provider." As part of that, Meta promised that if it bought any companies that used AWS, it would continue to support their use of Amazon's cloud, rather than force them off into its own private datacenters. The pact also included a vow to expand Meta’s consumption of Amazon’s cloud-based compute, storage, database, and security services.

    Continue reading
  • Atos pushes out HPC cloud services based on Nimbix tech
    Moore's Law got you down? Throw everything at the problem! Quantum, AI, cloud...

    IT services biz Atos has introduced a suite of cloud-based high-performance computing (HPC) services, based around technology gained from its purchase of cloud provider Nimbix last year.

    The Nimbix Supercomputing Suite is described by Atos as a set of flexible and secure HPC solutions available as a service. It includes access to HPC, AI, and quantum computing resources, according to the services company.

    In addition to the existing Nimbix HPC products, the updated portfolio includes a new federated supercomputing-as-a-service platform and a dedicated bare-metal service based on Atos BullSequana supercomputer hardware.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022