William Hill reprimanded over ads appealing to minors

William Hill reprimanded over ads appealing to minors

Thursday, June 18, 2015
The ASA found in favour of a complaint about William Hill

William Hill has been ordered not to use promotional campaigns featuring children by the UK’s advertising watchdog.

The country’s biggest gambling operator was criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after it used images of children and teddy bears in tweets related to its markets.

William Hill launched a number of adverts on its official Twitter account to promote betting on various events such as the sex of the second child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Masters golf tournament.

“The ads must not appear again in their current form,” said the ASA. “We told William Hill Betting not to use images of children or images that were likely to appeal to children or young people in future gambling ads”.

William Hill chose to use images including a child jumping in the air holding a golf club for the Masters campaign, while two teddy bears wearing crowns were driven around London on the back of a flatbed truck to promote betting odds on the Royal Baby.

The ASA agreed with a complaint that the adverts were likely to appeal to children, saying that the UK advertising code banned images of children or young people being used to promote gambling. The regulator said that the use of the teddy bears was likely to appeal to children and also broke the advertising code.

ASA told TotallyGaming.com that it received over 100 complaints in 2014 about gambling ads on social media, and a spokesman added: “The rules state that marketing communications must not be likely to be of particular appeal to under-18s, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture.

“The rules for gambling ads are designed to ensure that marketing communications for gambling products are socially responsible, with particular regard to the need to protect children, young persons under 18 and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by advertising that features or promotes gambling.”
 

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