HomeInsightsCommittees of Advertising Practice consult on new guidance on ads for “loot boxes” and other in-game purchases

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CAP has published a consultation on proposals to introduce new formal guidance on advertising in-game purchases, including the random-item purchases commonly known as “loot boxes”.

CAP explains that within modern video games and apps, it is common to be able to make purchases within the game, whether directly or through an external platform. These purchases may range from very small and low value, such as an item that boosts performance or skips waiting times, to relatively large and high value, such as an expansion pack or bundle of currency.

CAP acknowledges the concerns have been raised by the public, the video game press, campaign and research organisations, and by Government Select Committees about elements of in-game purchasing. Although some of these concerns fall outside of the scope of advertising regulation, CAP has identified three areas in which formal guidance may help to mitigate the potential harms identified by concerned parties.

Rather than implementing new rules, CAP thinks that the issues in question can be suitably addressed through specific formal guidance on existing rules. The new guidance covers the pricing information at point of purchase, the language and approaches used to advertise in-game purchases (and the games they appear in), and the use of in-game purchased items in ads for games.

The consultation closes at 5pm on 28 January 2021. To access the consultation, click here.