Responsible gambling ad deemed distressing or traumatic to sensitive viewers
The Responsible Gambling Trust (RGT) has been chastised by the UK Advertising Standards Authority regarding a TV advert that forms part of its ‘Voices’ campaign.
The problem gambling ad shows a young woman sitting on a bed. As she battles with her inner demons, an older man sits on a desk in the corner of the room urging her to gamble, saying in menacing undertones “It’s just a bit of fun. Remember that rush. The best feeling you’ve ever had. Your words, it was perfect, you said it was. It was 10 out of 10; it was 100 out of 100. You tingled, you tingled.” The woman then moves over to the desk where the man has been replaced by a laptop.
The ad was reviewed by the ASA following a complaint that described the man as being predatory and sexually offensive but the RGT defended its position saying while the ad was uncomfortable to watch, the campaign was designed to stick in consumers minds.
The RGT felt that the message the ad conveyed on being drawn into online gambling was sufficient justification for the degree of distress that it might cause.
Nonetheless, the ASA considered that for much of the ad the message was ambiguous and unclear and that viewers who had been subjected to various forms of abuse would find the ad highly distressing and/or traumatic.
RGT was told the ad may not be shown again in its current form as it breached CAP Codes 4.1 and 4.2.
Gala Bingo found itself under the microscope too, with a TV bingo ad based on “The Chase”. A complainant questioned the size of significant terms and conditions saying it was difficult for viewers to read.
The ASA ruled that while the text height exceeded guidance, the width had been compressed making the text difficult to read. This ad may also not appear in its current form again.