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Misleading print ad sees ASA sanction Racing 4 Profit

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has penalised betting tipster rixbets.com, after a complainant challenged the misleading nature of a claim made in a print advert, as well as whether it could be substantiated.

First seen in August of last year, the ruling by the ASA states the press ad read:  “… Outstanding results in the last 16 months… £34,970 PROFIT. An extraordinary 62% PROFIT on investment and an incredible tax free profit of £492 per week”.

With small print below going on to announce “(All bets at just £100 per point at advised prices or SP – total stake 9/4/16 to 19/8/17 = £56,000)”.

Questioned by one complainant, responding Racing 4 Profit Ltd, trading as rixbets.com, pointed out that text in the main body of the ad stated the stake per point required (£100), as well as the time period in question (9/4/16 – 19/8/17) and the overall total staked (£56,000) to achieve a profit of £34,970, stating a belief that information was presented clearly.

Going to be outline a viewpoint that text size and placement was not out of the ordinary, Racing 4 Profit also explained its proofing process and provided a spreadsheet “which they said listed all the bets made in the referenced 16-month period, including the race date, name of horse, points staked, odds and the number of points won/lost.”

During its detailed assessment, within which the ASA upheld the complaint and concluded that the ad was misleading, it explained: “We were concerned that the ad did not make sufficiently clear the amount a consumer would be required to stake to achieve the £34,970 profit.

“We noted that the text which stated “total stake 9/4/16 to 19/8/17 = £56,000″ was in small print in parentheses under the body copy and we considered that that text, and the text which stated”62% profit on investment”, did not make sufficiently clear to consumers the amounts they would need to invest to achieve the advertised profit.

“We also understood that £492 was an average, calculated by dividing the total profit amount (£34,970) by the number of weeks in the relevant period (71), and we noted that the spreadsheet showed that there were periods of several weeks at a time when no races had been won but significant amounts had been staked.

“We therefore considered that the ad gave a misleading impression that consumers would achieve a weekly profit of approximately £492, when that was not the case.”

Racing 4 Profit must not display the ad again in its current form, as well as ensuring future ads make it “sufficiently clear” the amounts needed to be staked to achieve the quoted profits, and “that they did not misleadingly imply that consumers would achieve a weekly profit, if that was not the case”.

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