A banner ad on YouTube and two paid-for Facebook posts, for the computer game Liberators, which were seen on 5 January 2017. Ad (a) showed an image of a sniper aiming at a target. Text at the top stated “LIBERATORS”. Ad (b) showed an image of a tank on a battlefield with on-screen text which stated “Storm the field in this FREE Strategy epic today! Liberate cities and defeat the Nazis!”. Ad (c) showed images of three soldiers from Germany, the United States and the Soviet Union. Text above stated “Experience an authentic re-enactment of WWII Europe in Liberators Today!”.
The complainant, who believed the ads contained images which were not from the ‘Liberators’ game, but were from games not made by the advertiser, challenged whether the ads were misleading.
Mutant Box Interactive Ltd did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries.
The ASA was concerned by Mutant Box Interactive’s lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 1.7 Any unreasonable delay in responding to the ASA's enquiries will normally be considered a breach of the Code. (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a response to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.
We considered that consumers were likely to believe that the ads contained images from the actual gameplay for the “Liberators” game. Because we had not seen any evidence that the images were taken from the “Liberators” game, we concluded that the ads were likely to mislead.
The ads breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (Misleading advertising)
The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Mutant Box Interactive Ltd not to imply that images represented actual gameplay if that was not the case in future. We referred the matter to CAP’s Compliance Team.