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Israeli government's graphic Gaza conflict ads appear in family-friendly mobile games

Users report it was shown via titles such as Angry Birds and Subway Surfers

An Israeli government advertisement showing graphic footage of the Gaza conflict has reportedly appeared in mobile games including Angry Birds.

An investigation by Reuters found six cases of an ad including videos of rocket attacks and explosions appearing in mobile games in the UK, France, Austria, Germany, and Holland.

The ad has been reported as appearing on games such as Rovio's Angry Birds, Ketchapp's Stack, Sybo's Subway Surfers, LazyDog Game's Alice's Mergeland, and Rollic's Balls'n Ropes. has reached out to the developers mentioned for further clarification.

A spokesperson from Rovio confirmed to Reuters that the ads "have in error made it through" to Angry Birds, and clarified that they are being manually blocked.

Reuters reported that Rovio "did not provide details on which of its 'dozen or so ad partners' supplied it with the ad."

It's unclear which advertising firm placed the content in Angry Birds. Reuters reached out to over 40 firms Rovio listed as "third-party data partners" and only 12 responded, including Amazon, Index Exchange, and Pinterest, who said they were not responsible for it appearing in the game.

David Saranga, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs' head of digital, told Reuters that the advertisement was government-promoted but had "no idea" how it ended up in mobile games. Saranga said officials instructed advertisers "to block it for people under 18."

He added that the ministry had paid for these ads to run through ad companies such as Tabloola and Outbrain — who told Reuters that are not involved in video game advertising — and internet platforms such as Google and X, formerly known as Twitter.

Google confirmed it has run more than 90 ads for the ministry but declined to say where they had been displayed. X did not respond to Reuters' request for comment.

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority said in a statement that while they weren't currently investigating the issue, "overly graphic" images and footage should be "carefully targeted away from under-18s."

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Sophie McEvoy avatar
Sophie McEvoy: Sophie McEvoy is a Staff Writer at She is based in Hampshire and has been a gaming & entertainment journalist since 2018.
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