It was only a short while ago that we reported on the fact that gambling adverts may well be banned on television before the 9pm watershed [read more here]. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) furnished us with details of figures of complaints about gambling / betting adverts and although they were quite small, of the rulings for the week 19th October, there were FOUR that were gambling related.
bgo, Titanbet, Coral and LeoVegas all appeared in the rulings on the ASA page and three of the four complaints were upheld! There were three parts to the complaint about the bgo commercial but only one of the three was upheld.
The Offending bgo Advert
bgo Complaint In Three Parts
In total there were two actual complainants and they challenged the following:
- That the advert was irresponsible because it suggested that by gambling the viewer could achieve financial security.
- That is held particular appeal to children under the age of 18.
- That it linked gambling with alcohol and sexual success.
Of the three parts of the complaint only part one was upheld, parts two and three were not upheld.
In defence of the advert, namely part one, bgo explained to the ASA that the boss has been the main stay of their commercials for a number of years. He has been shown to be a casino owner rather than a player so his success is not related to the winnings from gambling.
They went on to say that actually, the concept of their commercial was completely the opposite of suggesting gambling created financial success, with the boss singing “My, my, my winning made me so rich’, the indication being that the house always wins.
Additionally, the title of the parody was ‘U Can’t Beat This‘ also suggested that the house cannot be beaten.
The ASA did not agree and picked up on certain areas of the bgo advert. Firstly not all viewers would be aware or familiar with the character ‘the boss’ from the commericals and therefore would be unaware that he was the casino owner.
In addition, they raised the following points:
- The bodyguard was seen writhing on a bed of gambling chips, suggesting these were winnings.
- The challenge laid down in the commercial suggested that if they could ‘beat the boss’ then this might lead to the extravagant lifestyle depicted in the advert.
The ASA believed that the overall impression was that the wealth of ‘the boss’ was dervived from gambling and as such, breached the BCAP codes 17.3.1 and 17.3.3 as shown below
Advertisements must not
portray, condone or encourage gambling behaviour that is socially irresponsible or could lead to financial, social or emotional harm
suggest that gambling can be a solution to financial concerns, an alternative to employment or a way to achieve financial security