Operators warned over “socially responsible” advertising

Operators warned over “socially responsible” advertising

Thursday, March 3, 2016 Totally Gaming
FanBet's controversial ad was banned by the ASA

The UK’s advertising watchdog has banned a betting advert featuring an illustration of a man hanging by the neck.

Betting operator FanBet ran an advertisement for its tipping service on football fan website Arsenal Station that included the silhouette of a man hanging from a rope alongside the text “save yourself”.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received a complaint that using such an image to promote gambling was irresponsible and likely to cause offence, especially to those affected by suicide, mental health conditions or gambling problems.

FanBet said that it had not intended to cause harm or offence, and removed the ad after it was contacted by the ASA. However, the ASA said that the advertising code states that marketing for gambling must be socially responsible, with particular regard to protecting vulnerable persons, and banned the ad, saying it was likely to cause serious offence.

“We considered the silhouette … created an association between gambling and suicide that was irresponsible in a gambling ad,” the ASA said.

“We were also concerned that the ad presented suicide in a lighthearted way and suggested that continued gambling could address previous poor results, and/or associated suicidal feelings, in particular because consumers affected by such issues might be vulnerable.”

The principal gambling advertising codes in the UK are the UK code of broadcast advertising (BCAP code), UK code of non-broadcast advertising, sales promotion and direct marketing (CAP code) and the gambling industry code for socially responsible advertising.

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