Ads for bingo products will be treated the same as betting products, so will be subject to the ‘Gambling’ section of the Ad Codes. The Codes state that ads must be socially responsible, and should not portray, condone or encourage gambling behaviour that could lead to financial, social or emotional harm.
The Gambling rules go into further detail about this, so if you’re creating content to promote a bingo product, it’s worth bearing the following in mind.
Not an escape
Ads that suggest gambling can provide an escape from personal or professional problems, such as loneliness or depression, are likely to be a problem. An ad for ‘Rehab Bingo’ was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after it considered that using “rehab” in the context of gambling suggested that online bingo was a form of rehab that could be used to alleviate personal problems.
Never a solution
Also avoid suggesting gambling can be a used as a solution to financial concerns. An ad for Gala Bingo placed by an affiliate that included text such as “William is also over £130,000 in debt” and “Get 200 free chances to win £1,060,016.19” found itself on to a loser. The ASA considered that the ad suggested gambling could provide a solution to financial concerns, and was socially irresponsible.
The Codes require that gambling ads aren’t directed at under-18s through the selection of media or context in which they appear. An ad for Betfair Bingo was seen in the “Looney Tunes World of Mayhem” app. Age-restricted ads on online platforms should not be targeted solely based on age data. Younger users misreport their age or different people share the same device, so advertisers should support that method of targeting by using interest-based factors to help remove those aged under 18.
If an ad features a promotion, then the ‘Promotional marketing’ section of the Codes will apply. All ads for promotions should include all the significant conditions. An ad for Butlers Bingo, which contained the offer “Deposit £10. Play £35”, did not state any wagering requirements. The ASA considered that as a customer would have to wager £125 before withdrawing any winnings from the bonus, this would be a significant condition that should be included in the ad. Using a medium that is limited by space is unlikely to act as a defence to not including significant conditions. A text message for Lucky Pants Bingo was considered to have sufficient space to include significant conditions.
Source: Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP)
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