ASA seeks industry rethink of Free Bets promotions

watchdogThe UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has asked for the gambling  and sports betting industries to rethink its promotion and advertising terminology with regards to “Free Bets” promotions.

ASA, the UK advertising watchdog, stated that after a review of UK gambling advertising complaints, it had found public concerns with regards to Free Bets and Free Money promotions. Central to the complaints made to ASA, were issues regarding promotional terminology, clarity of messaging and labelling by UK betting operators.

ASA noted that standards of UK betting and gambling advertising had improved, since the changes to advertising laws in 2007 which relaxed rules and allowed gambling advertising on UK broadcast and media channels.

ASA stated that it would respond to the concerns by prioritising sales promotion breaches, being more proactive and working closely with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Gambling Commission to “ensure a joined up approach”.

Independent media auditing agency Research Works was brought on-board to research the UK audiences views and opinions with regards to gambling operator advertisements, while ASA reviewed its previous rulings on gambling advertisement complaints and the fines its had imposed on UK advertising breaches with regards to operator messaging.

Guy Parker, the ASA’s chief executive, said: “We’re pleased our decisions are in line with people’s opinions but we’re not complacent: there are areas we need to examine further as part of our commitment to ensure every UK ad’s a responsible ad.”

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