ASA applauded for ‘common sense’ Unibet verdict

ASA applauded for ‘common sense’ Unibet verdict

Thursday, January 12, 2017
Ad suggested more informed punters were more likely to win

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has rejected a complaint about an ad for Unibet which suggested that better informed sports-betting customers could achieve better outcomes if they had researched given events.

The ads in question appeared on Facebook in late June and on TV in September and featured three men discussing potential outcomes for a game and how various a factor might affect the result. The adverts ran with the tagline ‘luck is no coincidence’, suggesting the premise that knowledge imparted about previous events could help with betting strategies.

The complainant said the ad implied that gambling did not involve chance. However, the ASA agreed that the ad was an expression of Unibet’s brand value of expertise and that preparation and prior knowledge could lead them to more informed bet decision-making.

The ASA said it accepted the premise “that when compared to games of pure chance, having relevant information about sporting events may help consumers make more well-informed choices about their bets, therefore potentially leading to more wins.”

The ASA added that it also considered that the strapline did not imply that knowledge guaranteed wins.

The decision of the ASA was applauded by Nathan Rothschild, a co-founder and partner at iSport Genius, which provides a data-based information service for sports-betting operators.

He has previously spoken in front of regulators about the potential for data offerings to give gamblers background information at the point of delivery and mitigate against some problem gambling behaviour.

“We really do believe that a better-informed customers will make better decisions and has less potential to get into trouble,” he told TotallyGaming.com. “With this decision, the ASA is acknowledging the socially-responsible nature of the ad’s premise.”

Unibet clearly went to great lengths to ensure in advance the ads did not breach as specific rules with regard to misleading claims. Clearcast, the clearance service for both advertisers and broadcasters, said the body had worked closer with the advertising agency involved and including meeting them before the scripts had been written.

It also explained that Unibet used insights in its service to customers to ensure they were provided with more information when placing a bet. The ASA reported that Clearcast believed these insights were “no different from individuals studying horse racing form guides when deciding on which horse to bet.”

“This is a clear acknowledgement of how information and data can work for betting companies, putting the customer in the picture as well as potentially engaging them further,” added Rothschild.

Totally Gaming says: The ASA verdict is a good news for Unibet and the sector. Information for sports-betting is key to the sector’s future, and not just in terms of the regulators, but also when it comes to personalisation and player engagement.

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