Explicit porn advert banned after appearing in Talking Tom app used by children

The parent of a five-year-old complained after they spotted the advert

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The Independent Online

A sexually explicit advert for a pornography website has been banned after it appeared on an app for children.

Young children were confronted by the banner advert for Ewank.com, which featured an image of naked women engaged in sexual activities alongside a ‘play’ symbol, while using the popular Talking Tom app.

One parent complained that the highly sexual image was inappropriately and irresponsibly placed, after they saw it as their five-year-old child was playing the app which features an animated cat who repeats phrases back to children.

Mobjizz Ltd, which trades as Ewank.com, and Outfit 7, who are behind the Talking Tom app, both told the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that they have not been able to pinpoint who was responsible.

The pornography advertising firm said it allowed its product to be advertised by third parties, and in turn had no direct control over the physical placement of ads.

It added that although it was keen to identify those responsible in order to take action this had not been possible.

Outfit7 explained that it had a strict advertising policy with partners, who used filters to ensure that only age-appropriate ads appeared within their apps.

It said it had asked partners to double-check their filters but had not found any irregularities, and had not been able to identify who placed the ad.

The ASA said it acknowledged that Mobjizz had attempted to prevent its ads appearing in apps targeted at children.

But the organisation added it: “However, we noted that they had been unable to identify the third party responsible for placing the ad in the Talking Tom app, and were concerned that their procedures had not been adequate to ensure their ads only appeared in appropriate mediums,” the ASA said.

“We therefore concluded that the ad had been irresponsibly placed and breached the code.”

It told Mobjizz to ensure that its ads did not appear in apps that were likely to be played by children in future.

Additional reporting by PA

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