Today, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) published rulings on complaints against two gambling operators. The self-regulatory organisation of the UK advertising industry scolded Gibraltar-based Gala Interactive but did not take any actions against Betfair.
The two gambling companies faced accusations of being irresponsible to their customers because of TV ads which could have created wrong impressions for potential players.
Gala Interactive Must Remove Socially Irresponsible Ad
The complainant challenged a TV ad for a gambling website owned by Gala Interactive, seen on May 5th 2018. According to them, the commercial could imply that gambling involved skill rather than chance, which made it socially irresponsible to customers.
“Ah, the tell-tale signs of a Gala Spins fan. A whirly spin of fun and games, just like the new Britain’s Got Talent Slingo game. Try it now and see if you’ve got the talent.” – a voiceover said.
Gala Interactive responded to the accusations, saying that the associations made by the wording of the ad were apparently with Britain’s Got Talent show, and denied that it implied that skills or “talent” were involved in playing the games provided by its website.
The ASA investigated on the complaint and found that the wording of the ad was not suitable, as in the context of the TV commercial it could only be taken as an invitation for the potential customers to gamble online. The organisation further noted that in that context, the claim suggested that players could count on their skills to win at a game of chance. Therefore, the ASA found that the ad was socially irresponsible and breached rules 17.3 and 17.3.1 of the CAP Code.
The ASA concluded that the TV ad must be taken down by Coral Interactive and must not appear in its current form any more.
ASA Cuts Betfair Some Slack
Another complainant challenged two Betfair TV ads seen on July 5th, 2018.
The first ad displayed a man entering a door with “Betfair Casino” written on it, with the man later looking at his phone and playing a fruit-machine style game on it. The second commercial depicted the same man, entering another door with the Betfair logo on it to find himself in a large room with football matches and betting odds projections on the walls. He then took his phone out and made a bet while standing before a large screen showing a football match.
The complainant challenged whether the ads depicted a person who seemed to be under 25 years old and by this breached the Code.
Paddy Power Betfair responded to the accusations, revealing that the actor who was displayed in the ads was 27 years old, with his date of birth previously provided and checked. According to the company, he looked even older, especially considering the fact that he was not dressed in clothes associated with youth culture, neither did he behave in a way to imply he was under the age of 25.
After an investigation held under BCAP Code rule 17.4.6, the ASA concluded that the actor did look youthful but he did not imply in any way that he was under 25 and no rules were actually breached by the gambling operator. It ruled in favour of the company, not upholding the complaint.