Complaint against Ladbrokes Goonies slot not upheld by ASA

Complaint against Ladbrokes for its Goonies slot dismissed by the Advertising Standards Agency

Ladbrokes has been cleared by the Advertising Standards Authority regarding a complaint relating to its new The Goonies-themed slot title. 

Seen on March 31 in a paid-for Facebook post for Ladbrokes, the complaint believed that the reference to the 1980s film would appeal to those under the age of 18, and challenged the ad as being in violation of the ASA’s CAP Code.

Advertised with the statement ‘Play The Goonies Jpk at Ladbrokes. Get 30+ Free Spins on top of your £50’, the ASA stated that although The Goonies was originally marketed to the under-18 demographic upon its release in 1985, it now has a strong following of adults who initially watched the film as children. 

Furthermore, as the film was not a current or recent release, it would not be widely recognised or understood by children, and so the ad could not be classified as promoting gambling to under-18s.

Ladbrokes also emphasised that the post did not contain any imagery or characters from The Goonies and reiterated that the ad would not resonate with children in 2021 due to the film being released in 1985.

Agreeing with Ladbrokes remarks, the ASA also noted that the ad did not include any characters or imagery from the film whilst the nautical map and golden doubloons included were not colourful, cartoonish or ‘presented in a way that was likely to resonate with children, and were more likely to have a general or adult appeal’.

The Entain-owned operator added that the post was targeted at males and females over 18 years of age and had been deliberated in an internal review process, but had been removed from Facebook, associated ad campaigns and the firm’s ad catalogue following the complaint.