The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) scolded Gibraltar-based Gala Bingo for misleading TV advert seen on February 18th 2017.
The ad that has been described by misleading featured a voice-over that stated that players could win a total of £5,000 in the brand’s weekly final chase games. Also, they would be given the chance to play at a special quiz night. On-screen text was featured at the bottom of the screen, saying that the offer was available only for UK residents over 18 years old until February 25th 2017.
Additional information about the qualifying games included in the offer, and tickets and free bonuses were also included. There was also a link redirecting the potential customers to the full terms and conditions of the offer at the website of Gala Bingo.
The complaint was filed by one user who claimed they were not able to read the on-screen text and described the advert as misleading.
Gala Interactive opposed the accusations towards the Gala Bingo brand, saying that the on-screen text even exceeded the requirements of the “On-screen text and subtitling in TV ads” Advertising Guidance included in the BCAP Code. As revealed by the operator, the text was 57px high, while the text was displayed on screen for a total of 17 seconds. That was the reason why the company insisted that its TV advert was in line with the BCAP Code rules.
The non-governmental organisation Clearcast, which is responsible for the pre-approval process of most television advertising on the territory of the UK also commented on the accusations, saying that the on-screen text featured in the advert was clear and distinct enough. Clearcast also confirmed that the Gala Bingo ad complied with the guidance of the BCAP Code and explained that the text was large enough for potential customers to be able to read it. The organisation also claimed that the text was held on screen long enough in order not to be misleading.
The complaint was investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority under its BCAP, and reviewed the promotion’s closing date, the conditions under which customers were able to take advantage of the promotion, as well as the rest of the information provided. The watchdog found that the text of the Gala Bingo TV advert really exceeded the required hight and duration, but it also found that the text’s width was too compressed so that words were hard to read. ASA also found that the background was also not flattering to the text displayed.
As a result, the advertising watchdog stated that the on-screen text featured over the ad seen on February 18th 2017 was not clearly legible. The ASA further explained that consumers could easily miss the additional information for the promotion, as the text was not clearly presented.
Under the ruling issued by the ASA, the Gala Bingo ad breached BCAP Code rules 3.1 and 3.2 related to Misleading advertising and 3.11 related to Qualification. As a result, the organisation banned the ad, saying that the latter must not appear in its current form again. ASA also recommended Gala Interactive to make sure that its brands clearly present the significant information and qualifications as far as advertising is concerned.