The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint against a mobile game advertisement that used a screenshot of a different game.
This has been common practice with Facebook and Twitter adverts for a long time, but this ruling could set a precedent that sees this the era of misleading mobile and browser game ads coming to an end.
The advert in question was a promoted post from on Twitter for mobile developer Funplus Interactive's King of Avalon: Dragon Warfare which ran on September 5, 2017. The text said: "My friends wouldn't stop recommending this game to me. Eventually I gave in and now I can't stop…" running alongside an image of upcoming medieval-'em-up Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord.
"The ASA considered that consumers would understand from the ad that the image featured was from the advertised game, King of Avalon: Dragon Warfare," said the ASA, summing up its ruling, which you can see here.
"We understood, however, that the image was actually from the game, Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord. We therefore concluded that the ad was misleading."
This breaches CAP Code Edition 12 rule 3.1 which says advertising and marketing "must not materially mislead or be likely to do so." and as a result the ASA has ruled that the ad must not appear in its "current form", and that images should reflect actual gameplay in future.