One of the largest gambling operators in the UK – William Hill – managed to escape possible punishment from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), after a complaint about a company’s advert was filed.
The complainant, who was a William Hill customer, challenged a TV ad of the brand, seen on July 8th, 2018, saying that part of it could be misleading to players. The voice-over stated that “two extra bet boosts” were available on all matches of the World Cup’s schedule. The complainant, however, claimed that customers had stopped receiving such bonuses only after nine days of the largest football competition.
The company responded to the accusations and explained that in this very case, the circumstances related to the complained occurred as the complainant was restricted from receiving any promotions. William Hill further shared that the customer had abused the number of bonuses they were set to receive over the lifetime of the account, so that was the reason why the operator’s Trading department had decided to restrict them. As revealed by WHG, a total of 478 bonuses were received by the customer over the lifetime of the account, with their overall amount being estimated to £1,639.28, while the customer had deposited only £60.
In addition, William Hill explained that the operator contacted the customer and informed them about the restriction on June 23rd, 2018, which was prior to the TV advert being aired. So, at the time when the bonuses in question were available, the player was already aware of the restriction. The gambling operator further noted that it made sure that the advert did not state that all William Hill customers were eligible to get the promotional offer.
No Further Action Needed in Terms of the WHG TV Advert
The ASA investigated the circumstances and found that the TV ad in question included a superimposed text which stated that certain player, country and currency restrictions and terms applied. In addition, the Advertising Standards Authority found that the ad did not state in any way that all William Hill customers were eligible to get the bet boosts. Based on these two facts, the ASA did not find that it was likely to give the false impression that the offer was available to everyone.
Apart from that, the advertising regulatory body took into account the fact that there were individual circumstances related to the case, because of which the complainant had had their account restricted – a decision of the WHG’s Trading Department of which they had been informed.
Regulators like the @ASA_UK are tasked with ensuring online advertising doesn’t mislead, harm or offend. But how do you effectively police social media in a world where we’re so fractured and divided by opinion? Senior ASA officer, Matt Wilson, tells all: https://t.co/nGq35Y6ADV pic.twitter.com/tCUcCb1EcM
— Social Chain (@TheSocialChain) October 26, 2018
The William Hill TV advert was investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority under BCAP Code rules 3.1 regarding Misleading advertising, 3.9 regarding Substantiation, and 3.10 and 3.11 regarding Qualification. However, after carefully measuring the facts and taking the individual circumstances into account, the advertising regulator found there was no breach of the BCAP Code rules and concluded that the ad was unlikely to be misleading to customers.
The ASA said that no further actions were necessary in terms of the ad.