Lotto NZ and Tiger have pulled advertisements after receiving complaints that material inappropriately targeted minors.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a complaint against Lotto, while Tiger took self-regulatory actions in response to another complaint.

The complaint against Lotto NZ referred to an in-store advertisement for an Instant Kiwi Battleship scratchie game which showed an illustration in a similar style to Hasbro's Battleship board game and included an R18 stamp. The ad said, in part: "Win up to $100,000. Target yours today!"

"The similarity between this and the Hasbro game Battleship which is a child-focused game are quite striking," the complainant said.


The complainant was concerned that the in-store poster was in a public place where families shopped.

Responding to the complaint, Lotto stated that the advertisement for the Instant Kiwi ticket Battleship did not breach the Code for Advertising Gaming and Gambling and in particular was not "directed at minors".

Lotto said the Battleship board game had a retro appeal for adults.

"Lotto NZ was very careful to highlight the retro nature of this game, with advertising clearly displaying the green background and basic boat outlines from the original Battleship board game from the late 1960s through the 90s," Lotto said.

"This design is familiar to our Instant Kiwi players, typically aged 30+… the look and feel of the board game during this time, and in turn this Instant Kiwi ticket, is extremely different to the way minors today prefer to play games."

The Complaints Board said that the advertisement's bright colours combined with imagery from the recognisable children's board game would have a strong appeal to minors.

Furthermore, the board said the placement of the in-store advertisement in a supermarket where children were likely to easily view it was not socially responsible and ruled the advertisement was in breach of Principle 2 and Guideline 2(a) of the Code for Advertising Gaming and Gambling.

The complaint against Tiger referred to a television advertisement which showed a dance troupe, a painter and a violinist in various settings, including riding the subway, walking through a dark alley and entering an abandoned theatre.


The advertisement said, in part: "You don't know them yet, but you will. Here come the Uncaged."

At the end, a bottle of Tiger beer is shown.

"The ad appears to show potential underage drinking and promote the same," the complainant said.

"It seems to be specifically targeted to teenagers. Potentially making the suggestion that youth can only be cool or succeed if they start drinking young. Alcohol ads should never target youth."

In response, Tiger said that while it was certain the people shown were over 25 years of age, as allowed by the Code for Advertising and Promotion of Alcohol, it could not confirm it as the advertisement was made internationally.

Tiger removed the advertisement and said it would not be played again.


The ASA noted the self-regulatory actions of Tiger and it served no further purpose to place the matter before the Complaints Board, ruling the complaint settled.