UK bans Coral gambling ad

Coral has been told not to use the ad or strapline again.
Coral has been told not to use the ad or strapline again.

The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a gambling ad from GVC’s Coral brand but rejected a complaint against Ladbrokes.

UK.- The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a gambling ad from Coral, but rejected a complaint against fellow GVC brand Ladbrokes.

The complaint against Coral stemmed from a social media post used to promote betting on the Cheltenham Festival horse racing meet.

With the caption “Have another go,” it showed a punter’s disappointment turn to a smile after receiving a free bet.

The company posted the video on Twitter with the text: “We’re as passionate about the bet as you are. So, get your stake back as a free bet if your horse fails to finish.” It also broadcast a similar ad on television.

The complaint argued that the ad was irresponsible because it encouraged players to make repeat bets. 

Coral said that the promotion was a “form of insurance” on a bet that is common in the industry and was not designed to encourage repetitive play.

It said the tweet had “aimed to highlight the prize of the promotion, while keeping within a certain character count and without encouraging socially irresponsible behaviour”, and said it would not use the ad or the ‘Have Another Go’ tagline again.

The ASA ruled the commercial broke the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct and Promotional Marketing (CAP), which states that advertisements must not “portray, condone or encourage gambling behaviour that is socially irresponsible or could lead to financial, social or emotional harm.”

It said: “We considered that the claim ‘Have another go’, together with the video ad which featured a man whose mood was instantly lifted following a free bet back, gave the impression that the decision to gamble had been taken lightly and was therefore likely to encourage some consumers to take up the offer repetitively.”

Coral was told it must not use the ad again in its current form and must avoid presenting promotions in ways that were likely to encourage repetitive gambling.

Coral was last sanctioned by the ASA in September 2019 for an ad promoting its “Bet and Get Club,” in which bettors can receive a free £5 bet for betting £25 during the previous week.

The ASA meanwhile rejected a complaint against a television ad for fellow GVC brand Ladbrokes, which was broadcast in February.

The ad showed people treating everyday situations like casino games, including a man filling his car with petrol and stopping the price at £77.77, and a man saying “hit me” to request more fillings in his sandwich.

Five viewers lodged complaints saying that the ad portrayed gambling as a “priority in life”, which is forbidden under the CAP code.

Ladbrokes argued the ad was intended as a fun parody that demonstrated the excitement of gaming in a metaphorical way which exaggerated real life.

It said: “There was no reference to gambling or any suggestion that the characters would rather be gambling than undertaking their usual tasks”

The ASA found in Ladbrokes favour, stating: “The ASA considered that while the characters were depicted as momentarily reminded of gambling and engaged in that analogy of the situation, they were not so distracted that they didn’t continue with those tasks.

“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.”

In Sweden this week, Kindred Group’s Maria Casino brand was slapped on the wrist for its latest TV ad. The Swedish Consumer Ombudsman (RO) ruled that the brand’s claim to be “Sweden’s most liked gaming site” could not be substantiated.

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