Those Annoying Puzzle Adverts That Pop Up Everywhere Are Now Banned

by : Julia Banim on : 15 Oct 2020 14:33
Those Annoying Puzzle Adverts That Pop Up Everywhere Are Now BannedThose Annoying Puzzle Adverts That Pop Up Everywhere Are Now BannedPlayrix

The extremely annoying puzzle adverts that pop up when you least want them to have now finally been banned, following complaints that the adverts were misleading.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned certain Playrix adverts used to promote the games Homescapes and Gardenscapes, arguing the content is ‘not representative’ of the actual gameplay.


Anyone who regularly uses social media or plays any free-to-play phone games will immediately recognise the adverts in question. They typically show puzzles where players have to pull various pins in a certain order to help a character evade danger.

However, the ASA has argued this is not representative of what the games actually involve.

games adsgames adsPlayrix

Playrix has reportedly disagreed with this assessment. The gaming studio has claimed that the adverts’ themes are actually similar to the product and has argued that the games had ‘thousands of levels’, with each one containing one ‘match-three’ style game.


According to an ASA post:

Playrix believed consumers would take from the ads that the games contained the content seen, as well as similar content involving similar characters.

Also that the games would have the same design and mechanics, alongside similar gameplay. They believed that the ad appealed to the logic and problem-solving skills required to win during the games.

They also believed consumers may have thought that their games were not straightforward ‘match-3’ titles, but would include a variety of mechanics.

The ASA has now ruled the adverts have indeed breached three CAP Code rules by giving misleading advertising, qualification, and exaggeration. Going forward, the adverts must never again appear in the form that was the subject of the complaint. Thank goodness for that.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Gaming, banned


  1. Gamasutra

    UK regulator bans misleading Homescapes, Gardenscapes pin puzzle ads