Befred online bingo advertisement not upheld by ASA

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has decided against upholding a complaint against a recent Betfred advert, after an individual questioned whether the broadcast normalised gambling.

The advert in question featured a woman in the bath, a man preparing a meal and a woman exercising, all while playing online bingo on mobile devices.

A voice-over could be heard during the advert, stating: “Love to chill in the bath? Make it a thrill and a laugh with Betfred bingo. Forget those two little ducks, soak up the action and win big bucks. You can even join in whilst making the tea with games from as little as just 1p.

“Play with Betfred bingo and enjoy top promotions such as daily free bingo games, bonus back and more. Put the fun back into [the] house. Kick back and bingo with Betfred.”

The complaint pertained to whether or not the advert could be construed as irresponsible. Betfred, in response to the complaint, commented: the ad did not suggest that people should play bingo excessively, or that it should take priority over any other social interaction.”

The bookmaker further added that there was no promotion of high stakes gambling, nor were any negative associated emotions displayed during the advert either. The advert was intended to imply that playing online bingo could become a part of a player’s leisure time, and not something that could be essential to someone’s enjoyment.

Furthermore, Betfred emphasised that gambling was not shown as being indispensable, characters were not displayed as being isolated figures and the ad did not portray a taboo or forbidden act which people should be ashamed of or hide, but the community aspect of bingo.

The ASA, in response to the complaint, stated “the ad focused on how people could gamble using Betfred bingo while also undertaking tasks or leisure activities around the house. The characters taking a bath and exercising were shown playing bingo in conjunction with doing those tasks, rather than instead of them. Gambling was therefore not portrayed as taking priority over those tasks or as indispensable.

“During the section showing the character preparing a meal, he was seen throwing food in the air when he realised he had won a prize. While we considered the character’s exaggerated reaction to winning showed he was briefly distracted from his task, again we did not consider that this scene portrayed gambling as taking priority in life.

“We 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.”

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