In a decision which could have wider ramifications for other operators, an email promotion for Ladbrokes featuring an image of Marvel superhero Iron Man has been banned after the UK’s advertising watchdog ruled that it was likely to have particular appeal to children and young people.

An email from Ladbrokes, received by a customer in May stated: “Ladbrokescasino [sic] … 10 FREE SPINS + 90 SPINS EXTRA.” The ad featured an image of Iron Man with the text “IRON MAN 3 … Enjoy this exclusive Ladbrokes welcome offer with Iron Man 3.”

The complainant challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because he believed it was likely to be of particular appeal to children.

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