Gadgets

Explicit sex adverts appear in children’s app

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David Cornish
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"Wanna f*ck?"

It's the sort of sleazy line you'd expect to find populating the dingier corners of adult websites - yet this and several other explicit images of naked women managed to appear in the children's app My Talking Tom. Which isn't a euphemism.

The appearance of several interactive adult-toned adverts in the children's media app has been described as "irresponsible placing" by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Parents contacted the ASA after they realised that children as young as three had been shown the explicit ads whilst playing free game - which allows kids to "adopt" a cat, care for it and dress it in a variety of outfits (this is the world we live in).

"We considered that the sexually explicit content of the ads and the product they promoted meant that they should not appear in media which might be seen by children," said the ASA. "We considered that the My Talking Tom app, in which the ads had appeared, would be of particular appeal to children. We concluded that the ads had been irresponsibly placed and breached the [advertising] code."

It's the second time that Plymouth Associates - who own the My Talking Tom app - has found itself in trouble for allowing adult-toned ads to appear in its free game: in June of this year, the app displayed an in-game banner ad for the website 'Ewank.com', which depicted "three naked women engaged in sexual activities". 

The recurrence of the issue seems to lie in the murky world of third party ad distribution networks: distributors of mobile ads should have flagged the content as adult-only, rather than allowing it to be pushed to mainstream apps such as My Talking Tom

The lesson of the tale? Be sure you're aware of what apps your kids are playing with, and maybe consider paying for ad-free games if you're paranoid of this issue happening again.

Or buy them a book? Go to the park? You know, normal kid stuff.

[Via: The Independent]

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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