A website that allows users to compete in online games to win prizes has had its knuckles rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority over a misleading ad.
The organisation agreed that RockyFroggy ran an advertorial on a web domain (www.cdn.bbn-news.co.uk) specifically designed to look like the BBC's website. The structure of the page, it said, was deliberately designed to trick readers into thinking they were reading an independent news piece.
The games site blamed the promo on a third party affiliate that runs its advertising, although it wasn't able to name the partner responsible for the ad in question. The company assured, however, that it would contact all affiliates to ensure that they comply with guidelines in the future.
The ASA welcomed RockyFroggy's wish to identify the affiliate who had placed the ad and the action they had taken to advise all their affiliates that the approach used in the current ad was not acceptable,” it said.
However, RockyFroggy had been unable to identify the affiliate responsible for placing the ad. We were concerned that their procedures had not been adequate to ensure that their ads were obviously identifiable as marketing material. Because the ad was not obviously identifiable as marketing material, we concluded that it was likely to mislead and was in breach of the Code.”
RockyFroggy allows users to compete for a chance to win an assortment of tech prizes. Competitions for high-value goods such as MacBooks and iPhone run for a long period, whereas lower-value items pass more quickly. The user who has posted the fastest time in any particular game when it comes to the end apparently receives the prize in question.
We would try it but there's no way in hell we're signing up with our own email – especially as it opens with a request for credit card details and reckons everyone who signs up gets an iPod shuffle. The sign-up screen also seems to suggest you can get an iPhone 6 for 1 although – and call us cynical if you must – we somehow suspect this may not in fact be the case.