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Australian Bookmaker TV Ad Breaks Record For Most Complaints

Sportsbet Ad

An Australian bookmaker television advert has broken a record for the most complaints in the country.

The television advert for Sportsbet, one of Australia’s biggest online bookmakers, received 793 complaints for making a link between betting and sexual success.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Sportsbet advert shows a man naked from the waist up who appears to be “manscaping” his genital region.

The Ad Standards, which regulates television adverts in Australia, stated that the ad sent a “false message to young males that gambling will improve their sexual appeal.”

Fiona Jolly, the Chief Executive at Ad Standards, said that the complains showed that the public understands that advertisements must adhere to certain standards.

She said: “This year we’ve had two ads that have broken the record for the biggest number of complaints and, of interest, is [that] all of the top 10 were on free-to-air television.

“The things that traditionally receive the most complaints under the code of ethics are issues around the depiction of women and sexualised images. Advertisers need to really think about who they’re going to be showing the ad to – so not who they’re targeting, but who the ad is actually going to be seen by.”

According to reports, the Ad Standards received a whopping total of 6,600 complaints for adverts in 2018, breaking another record for the Australian regulator.

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Gambling television adverts have also been hit with criticism in the United Kingdom this year, prompting several companies and organisations to call for a ban on ads during live sporting events and before the 9 PM watershed.

It began when the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) launched an investigation into several betting and gambling firms after the company received over 100 complaints about gambling advertisements during the 2018 World Cup. T Gambling companies were accused of using psychological tricks to manipulate customers and target vulnerable viewers such as children and problem gamblers.

Shortly after, the Labour party announced several new policies to help tackle problem gambling, including a ban on gambling advertisements during live sporting events. The policies were supported by the Church of England, the boss and owner of Ladbrokes and Coral and the general public.

The mounting pressure eventually led the Industry Group for Responsible to confirm a ban on gambling advertisements set to take effect in 2019. Under the ban, no betting advertisements will be shown before 9 PM during live sporting events.

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