Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Advertising Standards Authority Bans ‘Irresponsible’ Coral Ad

Gambling Addiction

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a Coral advertisement which it has deemed “irresponsible”.

Coral’s advertisement appeared on the company’s Twitter account back in March 2020 and informed customers of a promotion in which they could get their stake back as a free bet if the horse they bet on fails to finish. Also included in the tweet was the text: “We’re as passionate about the bet as you are. So, get your stake back as a free if your horse fails to finish.”

In addition to the above, the tweet included a link to a video ad which depicted a jockey falling off his horse and a man looking disappointed before looking at his phone and smiling upon receiving his free bet. The video ad was captioned with the words: “Have another go”.

According to reports, the ad sparked a complaint claiming that it encouraged gambling behaviour and was socially irresponsible. The ASA upheld the complaint and found it to be in breach of the CAP Code which states that gambling-related advertisements must not encourage socially irresponsible gambling.

In its ruling, the ASA recognised that the ad did not oblige customers to take the offer but took issue with Coral’s “Have another go” tagline and video ad which the ASA claimed could encourage players to “take up the offer repetitively”. The firm said: “For that reason, we concluded that the ad was likely to encourage gambling behaviour that was potentially harmful and therefore breached the code.”

The ASA ruled that the ad must not appear again and warned Coral that the company must not present promotions in ways that could encourage “repetitive participation” in gambling. In response to the original complaint, Coral stated that the promotion didn’t encourage irresponsible gambling and did not apply pressure for customers to place additional bets.

Ladbrokes’ Cleared Ad

The news comes just as Ladbrokes was cleared by the ASA over an ad that sparked five complains which claimed it encouraged socially irresponsible gambling. Ladbrokes’ advert, which appeared in February 2020, features a man filling his car with petrol as a voiceover states “It’s all about getting them to line up”. It also depicted various other people placing bets while going about daily activities.

The complainants believed the ad showed gambling addicts taking part in scenarios which mimicked gambling as an everyday part of their life, and they claimed that the ad was socially irresponsible for portraying gambling as a priority in life. In response, Ladbrokes claimed that the ad depicted the excitement of gambling in a “metaphorical” way.

The ASA cleared the complaints, stating that the scenarios depicted in the video didn’t imply that gambling took priority in any of the characters’ lives and that the ad in question didn’t encourage irresponsible gambling behaviour.

The ASA’s statement reads: “We also considered that the brief scenarios depicted did not present gambling as indispensable or imply that it took priority in any aspect of the characters’ lives. We, therefore, concluded that the ad did not portray, condone, or encourage gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible, or portrays gambling as indispensable or as taking priority in life.”