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Online betting firm breaches UK online gambling ad rule

Online betting firm breaches UK online gambling ad rule The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said online betting company Paddy Power has broken the new gambling advertisement rule by linking online betting with increased sexual prowess. The advertisement in question was for financial spread betting and featured a man drinking champagne in a limousine, while flanked by two women.

 The Paddy Power campaign  featured a short man and the text: "Who says you can't make money being short?", which according to ASA suggested the man's self esteem had been transformed by his financial success, which appeared to have come from gambling. In its defense, representatives for Paddy Power claim that the ad is aimed at those who would have understood the term "being short" referred to financial spread betting. "We concluded the ad suggested this man's 'shortcoming' had been overcome by the wealth he had acquired through gambling and therefore that the ad implied gambling was a way to improve self-esteem or gain recognition or admiration. We concluded the ad was irresponsible," was the official stance by the UK Advertising Standards Authority and the advertisement has been withdrawn by the bookmaker.

 ASA also stung the popular Malta-based online casino "InterCasino", after a series of television advertisements which the agency concluded could appeal to children and young people. InterCasino insisted the humor was not intended to be juvenile and said the advertisements were designed to fit its "fun and relatively light-hearted" brand.

 The two rulings are the first since the new law was introduced on September last year to coincide with the new Gambling Act. Advertising rules were tightened as gambling websites, bookmakers and casinos were permitted to publicize themselves on TV for the first time.

 Published on 04/23/2008

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