Ad description

A pre-roll ad on YouTube, seen on 8 November 2023, for the mobile app game Klondike Adventures, included an animated video of a slim woman wearing a tight red dress walking past a house, as a man watched her from inside and animated love hearts appeared around his head. The video then showed another woman appearing in the window next to the man, also looking at the passing woman, and noticing the man’s reaction to her. The second woman was depicted as being of a larger body-type than the first, and was wearing a baggy jumper and jeans with stains on them.

The video then cut to inside the house, which was depicted as being in a messy state, as the second woman looked at her own body animated question marks appeared around her head. The man started shouting at the woman, as red anger lines appeared around him and a speech bubble with symbols meant to represent swear words appeared by his head. As the man continued to berate the woman, she looked scared and sad. On-screen text then appeared, which stated, “HELP HER START A NEW LIFE" with the option to “IGNORE” or “HELP”. The video then cut to the woman walking through a snowstorm, carrying a newborn baby, followed by a series of clips of gameplay from the Klondike Adventures game.


The complainant, who believed that the ad promoted body-shaming and sexualised and objectified women, plus depicting harmful gender stereotypes, challenged whether the ad was irresponsible, harmful and offensive.


Vizor Apps Ltd said that upon receiving notification of the complaint they had temporarily withdrawn the ad from circulation, pending the outcome of the ASA’s investigation. They said that Klondike Adventures was an interactive game which featured the main characters seen in the ad - Kate and Paul - and that both characters were well known to people who played the game. The ad had included scenes of the main characters in which they were casually dressed. They said that Kate had been depicted wearing a baggy jumper and jeans to raise empathy with sections of the intended audience, and that the stains seen on her clothes were included for narrative reasons.

Vizor did not believe that the ad promoted body-shaming, sexualisation and objectification of women, or harmful gender stereotypes. They said that the animation of Kate, when not wearing baggy clothes, depicted her as having the same body type as the other female character seen in the ad, who Paul was shown looking at. They had not meant to depict Kate as having a different body type as that other character, only to show her dressed in a different style. They said the choice to depict Kate in baggy clothes was driven by narrative and character development considerations, and the intention had not been to compare the two female character’s body types, but to juxtapose how they were dressed.

Vizor said Paul’s reaction showed that he was saddened by the style of Kate’s clothing, but was not meant to be seen as threatening. They believed his behaviour was not driven by Kate’s gender or appearance, and that her clothing had instead been a catalyst linked to wider problems they faced as a couple, beyond the narrative of the individual ad. They said Paul’s behaviour was meant to be seen as being unreasonable, and that the narrative of the ad had intended to expose controversial stereotypes as a form of social commentary. They also said that the speech bubbles which appeared above his head only implied speech, and that there was no literal wording associated with his behaviour. They believed that meant that Paul’s comments were ambiguous. Viewers could not assume that he was holding Kate responsible for the upkeep and cleanliness of the home. Because they believed that Paul’s comments were ambiguous, Vizor also thought that they could not have reinforced a gender stereotype.

Vizor said they were committed to working with the ASA to ensure their ads were compliant with the CAP Code.



The CAP Code stated that ads must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society, must not cause serious or widespread offence and must not include gender stereotypes that were likely to cause harm. CAP guidance said that ads may feature people undertaking gender-stereotypical roles, but they should take care to avoid suggesting that stereotypical roles or characteristics were always uniquely associated with one gender. Gender stereotypical roles included occupations or positions usually associated with a specific gender; for example, women carrying out domestic chores.

The ad depicted a female character, dressed in figure-hugging clothes which accentuated her hourglass figure, being watched by a male character who reacted in a sexualised and excited manner as she passed his house. The male character was then shown looking at his partner, another female character. He behaved in an aggressive and unpleasant manner, shouting and swearing at her, and berating her for her appearance and the uncleanliness of their house. That second female character was shown as being upset by the male character’s actions, as well as seeming to unfavourably compare her own appearance to that of the first woman.

The ASA considered that viewers would understand the first female character had been presented as having an idealised gender-stereotypical figure due to her body type and style of clothing, and was depicted as a sexual object. That was reinforced by the male character’s reaction to her, which included a change in his demeanour and expression as he leered at her in an aggressive manner, and love hearts appeared around his head. We also considered that viewers would interpret the second female character’s appearance, including the stains on her clothing, to be intended to be seen as less conventionally attractive than that of the first. That was emphasised by the contrast in the male character’s treatment of both female characters.

We considered Vizor’s argument that the second female character was only wearing baggier clothing than the first, rather than being seen as having a different body type, and that the male character’s behaviour was not driven by his partner’s appearance or gender, but instead by wider problems outside of the narrative of the ad. However, due to the style in which the two female characters were animated we considered that viewers were likely to interpret the ad as showing them as having different body types, rather than only wearing different styles of clothing.

We considered that viewers would understand from the male character’s reaction and behaviour that he was aggressively criticising his partner for not looking more like the first female character. The ad therefore implied her physique and appearance played an important part in the problems she was facing. We considered that his behaviour therefore both sexualised and objectified the first female character, and body-shamed the second character for not conforming to an idealised gender-stereotypical body. We further considered that the male character’s anger about the dirty and untidy state of the house, which he directed at his partner, reinforced a gender stereotype that the female character was responsible for the upkeep and cleanliness of the home.

We considered that the behaviour depicted in the ad condoned and encouraged the sexualisation, objectification and body-shaming of women. We therefore concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, included a gender stereotype in a way that was likely to cause harm, was socially irresponsible and had breached the Code.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 and 4.9 (Harm and offence).


The ad must not appear again in the form complained about. We told Vizor Apps Ltd to ensure future ads were socially responsible and did not cause serious or widespread harm and offence including by objectifying women, body-shaming, or presenting gender stereotypes in a way that was likely to cause harm.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

1.3     4.1     4.9    

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