One allegation against Foxy Games has been upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority and another has been rejected at Betfair Casino in the most recent round of judgments.
The former refers to a Foxy Games paid-for Google search ad, shown on July 11, 2020, which was seen when the search word ‘make money online’ was used, and mentioned ‘Earn Money Online-Foxy Games-Play Online’.
Subsequently, a complaint was raised which questioned whether the ad was reckless by implying that by playing the advertised slots and bingo games, consumers might achieve financial protection.
After Foxy Games said the ad appeared as a result of human error and explained that steps had been taken to prevent it, the ASA explained: “The CAP Code stated that advertisers must not suggest that gambling can be a solution to financial concerns, an alternative to employment or a way to achieve financial security.
“We considered the claim ‘Earn Money Online’ suggested to consumers that the gambling system offered by the advertiser could be used to ‘earn’ money and therefore attain a regular source of income. We considered this had the effect of suggesting that gambling could be a way to achieve financial security.”
Concluding that the commercial was reckless, the company was advised that it could not appear again in the form of the lawsuit, as well as being told to ensure that their advertising did not show that gambling was a means of achieving financial protection.
In addition, one person posed a concern with a Betfair Casino TV commercial, shown in July 2020, which showed a man rushing to board his plane at an airport while another man sat relaxedly drinking coffee and looking at his phone screen, which showed the Betfair Casino app.
After the final boarding call for his flight, the plaintiff claimed that the ad depicted gambling as taking precedence in life by having someone gambling in a time-pressured situation, and questioned whether the ad was reckless.
Responding, Betfair Casino said that when making the ad, great care was taken to ensure that it complied with the BCAP Code specifications and Clearcast approved the commercial.
In addition , the company said that certain aspects of the commercial, such as the voiceover explaining “4 minutes and 53 seconds” and the brief duration between the final call and the closing of the doors, indicate that the man just intended to have a fast game.
It was added that the man showed the flight attendant his phone, which was meant to demonstrate that he was not ashamed by his leisure habits or attempting to keep a secret from his gambling.
In a statement ASA said: “The ASA considered that although the man was momentarily occupied with gambling, he was not distracted because he heard the ‘final call’ and appeared to have made his flight on time in a calm and collected manner without needing to rush. By contrast, others around him were rushing to board their flights.
Adding: “We did not consider that the ad gave the impression that people should gamble in situations where they were genuinely at risk of being distracted from an important task. We therefore concluded that the ad did not portray, condone or encourage gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible, or portray gambling as indispensable or as taking priority in life.”
It was felt that no additional action was required.