How many times have you been scrolling through your friend’s posts on Facebook and see an ad for an online casino or bingo site? They are rife on the popular social media site, and for the most part they are completely harmless.
However, some unscrupulous marketing companies will go to any lengths to get your attention and convince you to spend your hard earned cash.
Morally Wrong Advertising Banned By The ASA
On Wednesday 13th September, four versions of the same advertorial used to promote four different online casinos were banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
The ad in question appeared on Facebook, so had clearly passed their so called ‘strict advertising policies’, and told a story of a man whose wife was seriously ill with cancer.
Below is the version advertising Sky Vegas, who incidentally had no idea of the text being used to promote their brand:
William is also over £130,000 in debt after having to sell the house and continue to pay out of pocket for his wife’s cancer related medical bills their insurance WOULDN’T cover.
William took to Facebook one night in the hospital lobby to update his friends and family on his wife’s health.
A little tired and admittedly a bit depressed, William stumbled upon an ad for Sky Vegas. With little to no money to spend he admits he laughed and almost scrolled past it until he saw they were offering a promotion that would reward him with £10 free at The Jackpot 7 Game which at over £700,000.00 was too hard to pass up.
You can read the ruling on the ASA webpage here
Who Should Be Held Accountable?
All four major gambling companies (Ladbrokes, 888, Sky Vegas and Casumo) did not know of the advertorial until the ASA brought it to their attention.
All of them had the content removed but only three closed the advertisers affiliate account and refused to deal with them going forward. Casumo opted for the removal of the content and a reminder of the advertising code (CAP) for the offender.
It was the four gambling companies who got the slap on the wrist from the ASA but is this right? Whilst the buck has to stop somewhere, short of having someone checking EVERY web page, social media account and other publications, how are they expected to be on top of this sort of thing?
Sky have taken the easy option and no longer offer affiliates the chance to advertise their brand. How long before others follow suit because they cannot risk this sort of thing happening in the future?