Marketing communications directed at children should not include a direct exhortation to buy an advertised product or encourage children to persuade an adult to buy the product for them. They should not encourage children to make a nuisance of themselves to parents or others or undermine parental authority.
Marketers should ensure that invitations to purchase are not phrased as commands. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld complaints about a mobile game that instructed users to “Join now for Exclusive Member Benefits.” Additionally, the descriptions of the benefits contained phrases such as “The Super Moshis need YOU” and “Members are going to be super popular,” which the ASA considered put pressure on young players to purchase the subscription that would allow them to take part in this aspect of the game (Mind Candy Ltd, 26 August 2015). In a similar case the ASA ruled that imperative phrasing to buy in game money such as “”DOSH Top Up” also constituted a direct exhortation to buy (55 Pixels Ltd, 26 August 2015).
Source: Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP)
Note: This advice is given by the CAP Executive about non-broadcast advertising. It does not constitute legal advice. It does not bind CAP, CAP advisory panels or the ASA.
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