TOTO Casino didn’t specifically aim for young gamblers when it invented the iconic giant green gorilla and showed it in their commercials. The Dutch Advertising Code Committee ruled a complaint about the green gorilla as unfounded. The Committee has decided that there are insufficient grounds to decide that the gorilla was meant for minors and youngsters. Also, some other complaints that were filed with the Dutch ACC were dismissed.
TOTO’s green gorilla
Anyone who has seen TOTO’s commercials, knows the iconic green gorilla. Some viewers found the gorilla too appealing for minors and gamblers under 24 years old and decided to file a complaint with the Dutch ACC. At this point, the Advertising Code Committee decided that the gorilla is not in conflict with the advertising conduct code for gambling in online casino’s. The complainer found that the animated gorilla should be seen as a ‘comic figure, superhero or other fictive characters that can be expected to mainly appeal to minors and youngsters.’ The Committee ruled otherwise and denied the complaint.
Understanding for concerns
The ACC can see why complaints about the green gorilla have been filed and shares the concerns of the complainer. According to the Committee, is it very important to consider whether the green gorilla had such an attraction to minors or youngsters. The ACC ruled that it is not the case. The statement shows that the gorilla can be appealing to youngsters and minors, but TOTO never meant to use the gorilla as a fantasy figure, mainly used to appeal to such a target audience. Because there is no sufficient evidence that TOTO breached the code, the ACC decided to dismiss the complaint.
Also, the ACC found that the measures that TOTO took to avoid being appealing for young gambles sufficient. TOTO has requested before that their commercials on radio and television only will be aired after 10 PM. On online media such as YouTube, the commercials will only be shown to persons older than 24 years In this case, the Dutch gaming company complies to the rules that were drafted for commercials for online gambling.
The gorilla wasn’t the only point of speculation for the ACC and the TOTO. The same complainer also decided to file a new complaint in which TOTO advertises for playing blackjack. The complainer says TOTO’s commercials would suggest that winning games of chance will lead to ‘more social happiness’ by becoming ‘King of TOTO.’ Indeed, in the commercial there are sentences such as: “I am so happy about myself”, but the ACC has ruled that such sentences aren’t forbidden for commercials.
The ACC mainly denied the complaint because there is no further evidence of any breaches of the conducts by TOTO. The complainer is a 32-year-old female, and she won’t have any personal disadvantages by airing such commercials. The ACC says that there are no further arguments to remove the commercials from Dutch television.