01 June 2007

Disney Mobile Rapped Over Game Ads In UK

The UK Advertising Standards Authority has ruled against Disney Mobile after a complaint that its ads for some mobile games didn’t include the full cost. “Customers were invited to send an SMS using the short code in the ad, and received a text message back with a link to the relevant operator portal. This contained information on the games, the price and the terms and conditions...Text at the side of both ads stated: ‘Standard operator text charges apply. This is not a subscription service’.” The big issue appears to be that the ads gave the impression that the cost from the operator to download the games would be that of an SMS, far less than the data charges which actually apply. Although the brochure was intended for adults the watchdog said that it would be of interest to kids and allowed them to get the game without their parents consent. Disney disagreed with the ruling, but has said it will strive to make ads clearer in the future.

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