SBC News ASA deems Foxy Games advert ‘irresponsible’ but dismisses Betfair Casino complaint

ASA deems Foxy Games advert ‘irresponsible’ but dismisses Betfair Casino complaint

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld one complaint against Foxy Games, ruling that its advert was ‘irresponsible’, while also dismissing another complaint against a Betfair Casino ad.

One complainant raised concerns over a paid-for Google search ad for Foxy Games, seen on July 11, 2020, which was displayed when the search term ‘make money online’ was used, and stated ‘Earn Money Online – Foxy Games – Play Online’.

The complaint challenged whether the ad was irresponsible by suggesting that consumers could achieve financial security by playing the advertised slots and bingo games.

Responding to the complaint, Foxy Games stated that the advert appeared ‘as a result of human error’ and had ‘taken action to remove it’.

Ruling that the advert can not appear in its current form again, the ASA urged Foxy Games to ‘ensure that their ads did not suggest that gambling was a way to achieve financial security’.

The ASA stated: “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.

“We acknowledged that, on receipt of the complaint, the advertiser had taken action to address where their ads were served. However, we concluded that the ad suggested gambling was a way to achieve financial security, and was therefore socially irresponsible.”

The ASA also responded to a complaint submitted by one individual regarding a TV ad for Betfair Casino, seen in July 2020, which showed a man rushing to board his plane in an airport while another man was sitting down drinking coffee in a relaxed manner and looking at his phone screen, which showed the Betfair Casino app.

The complainant challenged whether the advert was irresponsible, stating that it portrayed gambling as taking priority in life by showing someone gambling in a time-pressured situation after the final boarding call for his flight.

Responding to the complaint, Betfair Casino emphasised that ‘great care had been taken when creating the ad to ensure that it complied with the requirements of the BCAP Code and the ad had been approved by Clearcast’.

Moreover, the company said that several components of the advert, such as the voiceover describing ‘4 minutes and 53 seconds’ and the short time between final call and the gate closing, suggest that the man was only intending to have a quick game.

It was added that the man showed his phone to the flight attendant, which was intended to demonstrate that he was not embarrassed by his leisure activity or trying to keep his gambling a secret.

“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,” the ASA said in its assessment.

“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.”

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