ADVERTISING watchdogs are investigating the failed “Willy Wonka” experience in Glasgow which sparked headlines around the world.

Police were called to the venue in Whiteinch last weekend after furious parents who had paid £35 a ticket were met with a near-empty warehouse with a handful of props and a small bouncy castle, leaving children in tears.

Instead of the “paradise of sweet treats” promised, children were offered a couple of sweets and a small cup of fizzy juice.

Organiser Billy Coull, who was confronted by angry parents at the venue accusing him of having “scammed” children, has promised full refunds and also admitted that artificial intelligence (AI) was used in much of the marketing.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which regulates advertising in the UK, confirmed to the Sunday National it had received a complaint about adverts for the event.

A spokesperson said: “The complainant argues the ads were misleading around what the event would entail. We are still reviewing this complaint and, as such, cannot comment specifically on it at the moment.

“Our rules make it clear that ads can’t be misleading. There’s no rule that says advertisers can’t use AI in their marketing, but our rules already make it clear that ads can’t be misleading.

“This includes using AI to exaggerate the efficacy of a product, or misrepresent a service.

“We’re continuing to monitor the developing of AI in advertising, and will adjust our guidance where appropriate.”

The advertising for the event, which ended up being abruptly cancelled, included a Facebook post which promised a “whirlwind of wonder” at Willy’s Chocolate Experience.

“We’re unwrapping an extravaganza of sweet proportions in Glasgow….Dive into a world of sweet wonders. This is your ticket to make memories that will last a lifetime,” it added.

A lengthy blog post on the House of Illuminati website, the firm behind the event, described “delectable chocolate fountains” and “whimsical performances” from “iconic Oompa Loompas”.

It promised: “As you navigate through the event, be prepared for surprises at every turn.

“Giant mushrooms filled with sweets, colossal lollipops, and candy canes that seem to touch the sky – these are just a few of the visual wonders that await.

“The immersive delights are designed to transport you into the heart of a whimsical chocolate wonderland.”

The ASA has various powers to deal with adverts found to have broken the rules, including banning it, having adverts taken down or referring advertisers to bodies such as trading standards, which can issue fines.

The Sunday National contacted the House of Illuminati requesting comment on the criticism of the event, but did not receive a response.

A post on the firm’s Facebook last week offered “sincerest apologies” to everyone who was looking forward to the event.

“I understand the disappointment and frustration this has caused, and for that, I am truly sorry.”

It went on: “Regarding the refunds, I am committed to rectifying this situation. All 850 transactions will continue to be refunded.”