UK ASA Told Off 888 But Praised William Hill

Complaints and compliments for advertising campaigns

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint on the latest 888’s (Cassava Enterprises) online poker webcam television advert. The problem is, as ASA sees it, that it is against the BCAP code for linking gambling to sexual success and seduction.

The ad in question is promoting 888 Poker‘s PokerCam tables. It features a man turning on his computer webcam as a voice over says: “Turn your webcam on at 888 Poker and play face-to-face online. You never know who you might meet at a poker cam table”. And then the camera goes around a virtual poker table alighting several patrons from diverse backgrounds, when one patron – a good looking bikini-clad woman who places a bet – displays what the ASA named as a seductive demeanor, which of course 888 Poker denies.

888 Poker’s objections and Clearcast’s clearance failed, and the ASA has upheld the complaint ruling that the advertisement may not appear again in its current form.

On the contrary, William Hill was favoured by the ASA regarding a complaint that Gala Racing Ltd put up on a press advert punting betting odds on Premier League and SPL matches over a weekend.

The ad headline read “TOP PRICE THE FAVOURITES EVERY PREMIER LEAGUE $amp; SPL MATCH” guaranteed the best prices on all favourites in opening rounds of Premier League and SPL matches with added text in small print linked by an asterisk clarifying the terms and conditions.

Coral Racing Ltd questioned the claim as misleading and not proved as they believed that some of their own prices, including those available in betting shops and online, were even better.

The claim was dismissed by the advertising authority and the ASA decided that the text in the ad clearly enough implies that the top price claim relates only to prices available through the website, over the telephone or through the text message service, and obviously not to prices available in retail betting shops.
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