A.s.a. Publishes Operational Review

UK advertising watchdog handled 398 gambling advertisement complaints last year

The marketing publication Brand Republic reports this week on the UK Advertising Standards Authority's recent review, which showed that the advertising watchdog handled 398 complaints about gambling adverts last year.

And surprisingly it was not the religious objections to the Christ the Redeemer publicity exploits during the World Cup football that attracted the most opprobrium, but a rather cruelly humoured ad from Paddy Power focused on legless Olympian Oscar Pistorious during his recent trial.

The Authority reported that its decisions on whether or not to ban gambling ads were in line with public opinion, but that consumer concerns have persisted around the use of sometimes misleading "free bet" promotions.

The watchdog also pondered whether it should take more proactive action on adverts that potentially breach rules but which do not actually attract complaints from the public. The review indicated that the body would keep a close eye on sales promotion contraventions, working more closely and proactively with the government's Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the UK Gambling Commission.

The review included information from a survey of public views conducted by independent agency Research Works.

The Authority's chief executive, Guy Parker, said: "We're pleased our decisions are in line with people's opinions but we're not complacent: there are areas we need to examine further as part of our commitment to ensure every UK ad is a responsible ad."

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