In recent times the Advertising Standards Agency (A.S.A) have really moved with the times, and now they don’t only cover television advertising, but have broadened their spectre to cover advertising online, banner advertising, and even advertising in newspapers and magazines. Even Facebook advertising is covered by the new rules, which leaves us wondering what Jackpot Café were thinking with their latest Facebook sponsored campaign.
As lots of Facebook users will have recently discovered, many of us are now seeing brands on the social media site that we haven’t chosen to see, such is the prolific nature of sponsored ads. So when the ad below popped up on Facebook last week, claiming that a player had won £2,615 from bonus funds at Jackpot Cafe we went to check the terms and conditions.
Here’s the ad (click to enlarge), and my comments before I continue with the story, you may have seen it yourself as a sponsored ad on your own Facebook, particularly if you are an online bingo player.
The wording on the ad is ‘Get Paid to Play Slots’, which instantly seems an irresponsible claim to us. Slots, bingo and gaming should never be treated as an income provider as there are no guarantees of any wins, and we feel the ad promotes irresponsible gambling.
However, more than that, the Jackpot Café claim in the sponsored ad that ‘Sue’ received over £2,600 via wire transfer after ‘starting with a £20 free’ The £20 free is offered to all players who register a new account with Jackpot Café but while no-deposit bonuses are great to try before you buy, the terms and conditions on the site state that ‘customers that have not made an initial deposit will not be eligible for bonuses or jackpots, only for the game prizes which will be credited to a Bingo Bucks account.’ So it would seem that according to the site’s own terms and conditions, it isn’t actually possible to do what Jackpot Café are insinuating ‘Sue’ did.
As the post had appeared uninvited to my Facebook feed, I felt compelled to comment, and as a bingo writer, I went and found the terms and conditions and pointed out the inaccuracies and the level of irresponsibility of ‘getting paid to play slots’. In addition to the comment, I also sent the brand a private message explaining that I understood A.S.A rules and that I felt they had been broken in this sponsored post. Eagerly I awaited a response from Jackpot Café, and it came within the hour. I have been banned from the Facebook page, which is no great loss to me, but a bit of a customer service fail from Jackpot Café.
I guess this is a warning to you all to check terms and conditions fully before signing up to an account, and always checking what the conditions of getting what any banner ad promises, before you dedicate your hard earned cash! Of course, all of this is only my opinion, I’m not an A.S.A official, but I have seen ads banned for less in the past!