UK Advertising Practice Wants New Guidelines For Game Advertizers

To ensure that advertisements are more transparent for consumers, the UK’s Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) released new guidelines for in-game spending this week.
In addition to virtual currency purchases, bundled items, odd pricing, and time-limited offers, guidelines were presented on these topics.
In addition to requiring companies to be transparent about the costs of in-game goods, the committee notes that these restrictions only apply to virtual currency that requires a purchase. If it can also be earned through gameplay, “it is no longer a direct substitute for real money and any presentation of the virtual currency for purchase would not be considered advertising.”
In advertising bundled items, terms such as “best value” and “cheapest” should refer to the cost per unit, not the overall package price. For bundles, the CAP advises advertisers to ensure that any claims made for a particular bundle also apply to the players.
Additionally, consumers should be aware of odd pricing within games.
The odd-pricing occurs when the increments of currency bundles don’t match the increments of the virtual currency price for items, which means all players have to purchase more currency than they need for the items.
Adversaries should not suggest an item is available for a specific time or through a specific purchase method if it will be more readily available later on.
In addition, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the UK’s independent advertising regulator, will be responsible for implementing the newly suggested guidelines.
ASA said it would be willing to deal with complaints on an informal basis for a period of six months for in-game content and three months for all other ads covered by the guidance to allow the industry to implement needed changes.
“After this period, the ASA will return to its usual procedures for determining whether to pursue cases formally.”

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