A.S.A. Warns On Misleading Online Lottery Advert

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Oct 13, 2017

World Lottery Club operator Annexio censured

Ambiguous Facebook advertising by the World Lottery Club resulted in operator Annexio having to answer to the UK Advertising Standards Authority this week regarding its advertising back in June this year.

The newsfeed appeared under the header “How about never working again or starting an empire! Spend it your own way; you’d be one of the UK’s wealthiest lottery winners.”

This was supplemented by an attention-getting colour strapline announcing “Breaking News”, together with an illustration of a man being interviewed by a presenter, with more copy announcing the UK’s “biggest” lottery draw of GBP 349 million, with a link to an article promoting the site.

The advertisement triggered a public complaint that the material did not adequately explain that it was commercial in nature, and was therefore misleading.

The ASA adjudicating panel agreed, censuring Annexio and noting:

“The ad seen by the complainant featured an image of a man being interviewed by a reporter, with “BREAKING NEWS” imposed on it in a style reminiscent of that used by some TV news channels. There was no information stating that it was an ad. We considered that the post gave the impression that it would link to editorial content regarding a lottery draw.

“The Facebook post was not obviously identifiable as a marketing communication and did not make its commercial intent immediately clear.”

Responding to the ruling, Annexio said it had stopped using such marketing communications on Facebook, and believed that the post was taken out of context, because the company always labelled ads on Facebook as “sponsored”.

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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