The British ad watchdog has banned ads from each gaming operator.
UK.- The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned ads from Rank and Coral, upholding complaints from the public. It described both ads as “socially irresponsible”.
The Rank Group ad was a communication used in its Lucky Night mobile casino game to promote another casino game, Wolf Gold. The ad offered a £400 welcome bonus and featured the text: “Everyone wants to solve theirs [sic] financial problems. Click the download button right now and start to earn. In fact, it’s all very easy to do with our application. Pay off loans, buy a car and a nice house and make a lot of money!”
The ASA said the reference to financial problems and the phrase “start to earn” suggested that the app could be used to obtain a consistent income and financial security. It also said the ad suggested that the player would be able to make major purchases through gambling. The ad thus breached rules 16.1, 16.3, 16.3.1 and 16.3.4 of the CAP Code.
In its response, Rank said that the ad had been bought by a third party, WakeApp, which managed in-app media for the company. It said it would not have approved the content itself and that it has ended its relationship with WakeApp due to the complaint.
As for the ad run by Entain’s Coral, this was a television commercial broadcast in March. It made no explicit mention of betting but showed horse racing, with audio and visual effects replicating a race, with heavy Coral branding. It asked the question, “How long have you waited for those gates to crash open?”.
ASA said the phrase used suggested that gambling was occupying a bettor’s mind, while the editing style and audio “carried a significant risk of replicating or recalling ‘highs’ associated with previous successful bets or betting in general, for viewers vulnerable to problem gambling”.
In both cases, the ads have been banned and must not be shown again.
In June, the ASA warned gambling operators to ensure that content marketing on social media meets advertising rules. It said it had received questions about whether content marketing counts as marketing for the purposes of the CAP code. Its conclusion is that the “vast majority” does.
In its update, the ASA said questions had been raised over the extent to which the ASA’s remit covers gambling provider communications in social media content marketing: a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.