Ad description

A paid-for Facebook ad for Hunting Sniper, a mobile app game, seen in January 2024, featured a video compilation of gameplay from the perspective of a first-person view through a sniper scope. The video showed two wild dogs shot and wounded, and a fox shot dead.


Eight complainants, who believed the ad showed real footage of harm to animals, challenged whether the ad was offensive and caused distress without justifiable reason.


Sparks Information PTE Ltd t/a Hunting Sniper explained that their advertising complied with local laws and regulations and did not violate animal protection law. They said that their ads also complied with the advertising policies of the platforms on which they were hosted. They said their ads passed the audits of the advertising platforms and did not violate the policies of these platforms.Hunting Sniper clarified that the ads used virtual footage from the game to show the gameplay experience, not real animals or real hunting scenes. They said they purposely avoided showing direct bullet hits and bloodshed images, and did their best to avoid showing the pain of animals. They said they had since made changes to the investigated ad and subsequent ads to include a statement which explained that the video was fictional gameplay footage and that no real animals were injured or killed.



The CAP Code stated that ads must not contain anything that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, and must not cause fear or distress without justifiable reason. The ad showed three animals being hunted from a first-person view through a scope. The ASA considered the black border of the scope directed the viewer’s focus to the targeted animals, two of which were shown in visible distress after they were wounded by the gun shot and one was shown killed instantly. The animals’ cries, echoing gunshots, and the sound of the gun reloading were audible over the background music, which we considered emphasised the distress of the animals.

We acknowledged the advertiser’s comment that the ad had been amended to contain a statement that the footage was fictional and no animals were harmed. However, we noted there was no such statement in the ad. Furthermore, we considered that, regardless of whether the video content was fictional, the depiction of the hunted animals would likely be interpreted as realistic imagery, if not real, by viewers, and given the nature of the content, we considered the ad was likely to cause distress. We further acknowledged that whilst the content was relevant to the product, we considered that any distress caused to viewers was not justified for an ad promoting a mobile app game. We therefore considered that the realistic portrayal of hunted animals, which highlighted their suffering, was likely to cause widespread offence to viewers.

We concluded that the ad was likely to cause widespread offence and unjustified distress to viewers.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 4.1 and 4.2 (Harm and Offence).


The ad must not appear in its current form. We told Sparks Information PTE Ltd t/a Hunting Sniper to ensure their future ads did not cause offence or distress to consumers by highlighting the suffering of animals.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

4.1     4.2    

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