Gambling giant Ladbrokes has managed to get itself on the wrong side of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) by promoting its online casino using Marvel superhero Ironman.

The offending advert was published back in May 2016, when an email campaign prominently featuring the superhero offered free spins at the Ladbrokes’ virtual casino. The ASA claimed that the campaign was “likely to be particularly of appeal to children or young people”, forcing Ladbrokes to pull the ad.

Ladbrokes_email_campaign-1(Image credit: Ladbrokescasino)

However, Ladbrokes has bitten back, claiming that the campaign was only sent to registered users over the age of 18, and that Facebook demographic data suggests that only 6.39% of Marvel fans are under 18. Regardless of the validity of the betting company’s response, it is an unwelcome piece of negative PR for a company that only recently returned to profit following a very disappointing 2015.