Ad description

Two paid-for Facebook ads for Golf Clash, a mobile app game:

a. The first ad, seen in August 2023, showed a video of a man pointing to on-screen text that stated “5% EXTRA BALLS AND GEMS THROUGH PURCHASES”, “DAILY LOG IN BONUS” and “SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER FOR 500 GEMS”. The caption stated, “The Golf Clash Web Store is now live! [trophy emoji][coin emoji] Head on over and check out our awesome deals! Log in now and claim your Daily Login Bonus Chest!”.

b. The second ad, seen in September 2023, featured an image of a virtual golf course, with the Golf Clash logo, a sign for “Tour Championship” and text which stated, “STARTS ON 21 AUGUST 2023”. The caption stated, “When reaching 'Gold Prestige', convert all leftover balls into 'Generation Tokens'”.


The complainant, an academic researcher in game regulation, who understood that the game and webstore contained random-item purchasing (‘loot boxes), challenged whether the ads were misleading because they omitted material information.


Electronic Arts Ltd t/a EA said that the ads were mistakenly published without the prescribed disclosure. They explained that they had a company policy which required paid ads for games that included in-game purchases and random-item purchases to contain the text “Includes optional in-game purchases (includes random items)” prominently within the ad. In ads (a) and (b), they explained that the omission of the disclosure was a result of human error and was not representative of the standard policies and practices they had in place to ensure their ads were compliant. They confirmed that the error had been resolved and the ads had been removed. They reiterated their commitment to compliant advertising.



The ASA understood that the items received in a loot box were based on chance, and that a player would not know what items they had received in the box until the transaction was completed. CAP Guidance stated that the presence of in-game purchasing, and particularly random-item purchasing (loot boxes), was material to a consumer’s decision to purchase or download a game, especially for those with specific vulnerabilities. As such, marketers were required to ensure that advertising for the game made clear that it contained in-game purchasing and, if relevant, that it included loot boxes.

We understood that the Golf Clash game contained virtual currency and functional items, such as golf balls and clubs, that were available to purchase, as well as loot boxes in the form of chests. They were available to purchase in-game, as well as through the webstore.

Ad (a) announced the launch of the Golf Clash webstore and referred to “purchases” and “awesome deals” which could be made on the webstore. As such, we considered consumers would understand that the function of the webstore was to purchase items to use in the game. However, we noted that there was no further statement about the presence of loot boxes, which could also be purchased in the game webstore. We therefore considered the information included in ad (a) was not sufficient for consumers to understand that loot boxes were available to be purchased on the game webstore.

We further noted that ad (b), an ad for the game itself, did not contain any information to indicate to consumers that the game included in-game purchases and loot boxes. We therefore considered the ad omitted material information that would affect a consumer’s transactional decision, such as the decision to download the game.

We acknowledged that ads (a) and (b) were published without the disclosure about in-game purchases and loot boxes that was prescribed by the advertiser’s internal policy as a result of human error and we welcomed the advertiser’s engagement with the CAP Code and guidance. Nonetheless, because ad (a) did not make clear that the webstore included loot boxes, and ad (b) did not make clear that the game included in-game purchases or loot boxes, we concluded that the ads misleadingly omitted material information.

The ads breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising).


The ad must not appear in the form complained of. We told Electronic Arts Ltd t/a EA to ensure that ads for Golf Clash disclosed the presence of in-game purchases, including random-item purchases (loot boxes).

CAP Code (Edition 12)

3.1     3.3    

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