The UK advertising watchdog has banned one of the adverts of gambling giant William Hill after allegations that the ad linked gambling with sexual success.
The complainant filed a complaint against a paid-for message for William Hill seen on the dating application Tinder on March 11th, 2019. As seen by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the message was aimed at encouraging customers to gamble on any Cheltenham race and offering a link to download the application of William Hill by creating a link between gambling activities and sexual success.
The betting operator responded to the accusations, saying that its customers had been known to be looking for the best betting odds and offers, so the company’s website and odds were used by players as a comparison to choose the best deal. A relationship would be made between players who choose William Hill’s betting platform and the gambling company, and such customers would receive access to all areas of the company’s website and its services in case they create an account. As explained by the operator, the advert on Tinder was aimed at making an association between the company’s offer and the nature of the platform William Hill was advertising on.
William Hill said that it had not intended to link gambling to sexual success. The company had removed the paid-for message and revealed it was in the process of conducting a full review of its existing content uploaded on the dating platform. On its turn, Tinder also confirmed that the advert was initially reviewed to make sure that its content was not offensive, socially irresponsible or targeting underage individuals. The platform also confirmed that the advert is no longer available.
Gambling Company’s Paid-For Message on Tinder Breaches Code, ASA Says
The UK advertising regulatory body investigated whether the William Hill advert was in compliance of the CAP Code rules, under which marketing communications for gambling must be socially responsible and must not link gambling services to enhanced attractiveness, sexual success or seduction.
The ASA, however, ruled that part of the advert’s wording suggested that customers who placed bets would have better chances of having a friendship transformed into a sexual relationship, so it actually linked gambling with sexual success. This is why the advertising watchdog concluded that the advert breached CAP Code rules 16.3 and 16.3.8 related to gambling.
The ASA also ruled that the advert must not be released in the form complained about any more.
The ruling comes only a week after William Hill suffered a backlash from the ASA, along with another popular gambling company – Paddy Power – for their socially irresponsible TV ads. The advertising regulator also slammed Tottenham Hotspur Football & Athletic Co. for posting a tweet promoting some odds offered by William Hill. The advertising watchdog has always been aimed at punishing the ones who do not comply with the Code rules and protect vulnerable customers, especially when it comes to underage individuals.