A post on the X Factor Facebook page stated "Win X Factor goodies with Mecca Bingo! Think you know everything there is to know about The X Factor? Know your Little Mix from your Miss Dynamix? Well, here's your chance to discover just how much of fanatic [sic] you really are with Mecca Bingo's X Factor quiz! Simply answer the X Factor related questions on the bingo card and you'll be entered into the draw to win X Factor goodies and more. Ends midnight 18th November 2013. #Spon" and included a link to the quiz on the Mecca Bingo website's blog, blog.meccabingo.com.
The complainant objected that the ad was socially irresponsible because they believed it was likely to be of particular appeal to children or young persons.
FremantleMedia Ltd t/a X Factor (Fremantle Media) said the post was restricted to Facebook users aged 18 to 65, and that they had done so to minimise the appeal of the competition to children or young persons. They said the promotion's terms and conditions, which they provided a copy of, also clearly stated that entry was restricted to those over 18 years of age.
Rank Leisure Holdings Ltd said that the quiz itself had been hosted on their blog rather than their main website, so that it did not sit alongside 18+ gambling content. They said that the terms and conditions made clear entrants must be 18 or over, and that the targeting of the ad itself on Facebook meant that under-18s would not have seen it on their newsfeeds.
The ASA acknowledged the complainant's concern that the ad was particularly likely to appeal to children or young persons and we considered that the references to Little Mix and Miss Dynamix in the ad meant that that was likely to be the case, if that audience were exposed to it. However, the post was age-restricted so it would only be seen by Facebook users who were registered as aged 18 or over. We therefore considered that the advertisers had taken reasonable steps to prevent those who were under 18 from viewing the ad and concluded that it did not breach the Code.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 1.3 1.3 Marketing communications must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society. (Social responsibility) and 16.1 16.1 Marketing communications for gambling must be socially responsible, with particular regard to the need to protect children, young persons and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited. 16.3.12 16.3.12 be likely to be of particular appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture and 16.3.13 16.3.13 be directed at those aged below 18 years (or 16 years for football pools, equal-chance gaming [under a prize gaming permit or at a licensed family entertainment centre], prize gaming [at a non-licensed family entertainment centre or at a travelling fair] or Category D gaming machines) through the selection of media or context in which they appear (Gambling), but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.