Three complaints filed against Profit Accumulator, trading as Bonus Accumulator, were upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after a complainant suggested that the advertisement was ‘socially irresponsible.’
The commercial was featured on the company’s website and in a paid-for Facebook post. The former, seen on 9 June 2020, featured a video explaining how the service of the Bonus Accumulator worked. A voiceover reads through a variety of customers’ testimonials in one segment of the film.
It included one which stated: “This is my 45th day of isolation … this money is so welcome as I haven’t earned anything in six weeks …”. At the end of the video the voiceover stated: “It is almost statistically certain that you will make a profit if you do enough offers.”
After the complainant raised concerns about whether the wording of the advertisement was socially irresponsible, the advertisement was challenged because it suggested that casino bonus hunting could be a way to attain financial security.
The commercial featured on the website, which was shown on 14 June 2020, contained a quote that said “casino bonuses are not gambling because just like matched betting, we give you an edge that allows you to beat the bookies…with the company claiming once again that “it is almost statistically certain that you will make a profit.”
The complainant also posed concerns about whether or not the allegations could be substantiated, in addition to implying that this could be considered morally irresponsible and deceptive.
Bonus Accumulator explained in response to the accusations that “casino bonus hunting” was a method by which customers could take advantage of casino incentives where there was a statistical edge; their service was intended to help members take advantage of those free online casino bonuses and promotions.
The sentence “This is my 45th day of isolation … this money is so welcome “as I haven’t earned anything in six weeks,” which was described in ad (a) as a Facebook comment left by one of the customers of Benefit Accumulator, was immaterial and not a key part of the ad, they said.
The firm said that taken in the light of earlier comments in the ad, such as “I can not promise you that you will make money”, the comment was not reckless or materially important.
Upholding the complaints, the ASA said: “We understood “casino bonus hunting” involved betting using promotional bonuses from online casinos, so that no loss was incurred; a profit could be made because the consumer did not have to pay for the stake.
“We noted that Bonus Accumulator’s service provided consumers with information on promotional offers, as well as directing them to particular bets and allowing them to calculate how much needed to be wagered.
“Additionally, we had not seen any evidence to demonstrate that any users of the system had been successful and achieved profits as a result of using the system. We therefore concluded that the system’s success and profitability had not been substantiated, and so the claim “It is almost statistically certain that you will make a profit” was likely to mislead.”
The ASA ruled that ‘the ads must not appear again in the form complained about,’ having told the company that they must ‘ensure that future marketing communications did not present gambling as an alternative to employment or a way to achieve financial security’.
In addition, the Agency stated that Bonus Accumulator must ‘ensure future marketing communications did not irresponsibly downplay the risk involved in gambling’.