The UK ASA Bans Ads of Top UK Gambling Operators including William Hill
The UK ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) has decided to ban gambling ads by Paddy Power, Monopoly Casino, and William Hill. The decision came after ruling that these ads breach the guidelines of the ASA regarding gambling ads in the United Kingdom. Five people filed complaints regarding the Paddy Power advertisement that features Rhodri Giggs.
The Paddy Power Gambling Ad In Question
Paddy Power released an ad that features Rhodri Giggs, who is the brother of the former player of Manchester United, as the Rhodri Giggs as the ambassador of its Rewards Club. The ad showed Giggs in various day-to-day activities and situations such as going to a pub and a gym before he ordered champagne at a bar and driving away in his sports car. He patted the bodywork and said “Thanks, Paddy.” The complaints about this ad challenged whether the Paddy Power ad was irresponsible on terms of glamorizing gambling. It gave away suggestions that it is a way to achieve a good standard of living, like the one shown in the ad.
Paddy Power Responds to the Irresponsibility Claims
Paddy Power stated that only the sports car featured in the ad could fall under the “Glamorous Lifestyle.” It added that they were intending to show that Giggs received such car after signing up as the ambassador of Paddy Power’s Rewards Club. The company stated that this is reinforced by the bumper sticker that was on the car that read “Ambassador Car.”
Clearcast, which is a non-gov organization that pre-approved the ads for British TV, supported the claims of the bookmaker. It stated that the ad did not offer any suggestion that the people should gamble vast amounts of money, or gamble irresponsibly.
The UK ASA Believes Otherwise
The Advertising Standards Agency agreed that Giggs’ success in the ad was not a direct result of placing bets. On the other hand, the ad implied to the viewers that they could follow Giggs’ example by joining the Rewards Club of Paddy Power so they can benefit financially. The ASA issued its ruling, which showed its opinion that the advert implies that gambling can be a way to achieve financial security and an improved self-image. That ruling concluded that the ad is irresponsible, and it ordered Paddy Power not to air the ad in that form again.
The ASA also ruled against the William Hill ad that appeared on Twitter, from a partnership with Tottenham Hotspur, the English football club. The ad features an image of the starting lineup of the club for the Champions League match with Borussia Dortmund. It also had the name of the company and a link to the website of the bookmaker. The ASA challenged the irresponsibility of the ad because it features Davinson Sanchez and Harry Winks. Both players are under the age of twenty-five at the time of the advertisement. According to the CAP Code, nobody under the age of twenty-five should play a significant role in any marketing for gambling. The only exception is if the individuals appear in a place where they can be placed a bet directly.