Disney Appeal Fails over Mobile Game Charges

October 15th, 2007 by Arjan Olsder Posted in Marketing Strategies | No Comments »

DisneymobileIn the U.S., Disney has lost an appeal against the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over advertisements for mobile games in the back of the Disney Store brochure.

Disney had taken on the fight with the ASA before in May, when ASA took action against these advertisements. Now, for a second time, the appeal was lost. The whole situation started as a consumer complained about the unclear pricing structure in the ad. Also, the consumer complained that because the costs are not clear and because of the point of advertising, Disney would try to pull children into purchasing the mobile games without adult approval from their parents or legal guardians.

The advertisements show famous Disney characters, inviting the viewers to send a text message in order to learn more about the offering through the link provided via SMS. On the side of the advertisements, there was a text saying ‘Standard operator text charges apply. This is not a subscription service.

In May, the ASA already made an appeal to Disney about the ads, and Disney made clear to the ASA that the brochures would be available only for sex weeks and though the object was just to inform consumers about the possibility to purchase mobile games, the advertisements would be made clearer in the future. The ASA stressed that children should ask parental permission before acting on the advertisements.

"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 that a further charge would apply to get the games on your phone," the ASA stated.

Though the brochure is mainly targeted at adults, the ASA also ruled that the brochure partly targets children due to it’s nature.

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    Arjan Olsder is the Vice President of Pixalon Studios. Opinions expressed on this publication do not have to represent those of Pixalon Studios.


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