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ASA Adjudication on William Hill (Gibraltar) Ltd

William Hill (Gibraltar) Ltd

57/63 Line Wall Road
Gibraltar

Date:

28 May 2008

Media:

Television

Sector:

Leisure

Number of complaints:

7

Agency:

Home

Complaint Ref:

53719

Ad

A TV ad, for William Hill online bingo, showed a man and woman in a kitchen. The man was having his breakfast and the woman said "Finished?"; he replied "Nearly". The woman then walked over to a clock and moved the minute hand forward from 7.15 to 7.30; she said "Darling, shouldn't you be going?". The man dashed off and the woman said "I get mine the minute he's out the door". The woman was then shown running up the stairs and playing William Hill online bingo; the voice-over stated "William Hill bingo … a massive online community, when will you get your William Hill bingo thrill?" The woman continued playing online and moved the hands of a clock back from 8.00 to 7.45; she said "Doesn't time fly".

Issue

Three viewers objected that the ad was harmful, because they believed it depicted someone who was addicted to gambling and was attempting to hide that from their family by deception.

BCAP TV Code

Response

William Hill (Gibraltar) (WH) said the ad was a humorous look at the everyday scenario of a woman wanting to get on with her day once her husband had left the house, punctuated by taking a break to play bingo. They argued that the woman only moved the clock forward by a few minutes because her husband was taking his time and she wanted to get on with her day. They believed the womans behaviour was light-hearted and did not portray, condone or encourage socially irresponsible behaviour or behaviour that could lead to financial, social or emotional harm. They argued that the fact the woman was looking forward to playing online bingo when her husband had finished his breakfast was not a depiction of a person for whom gambling was indispensible or whose priorities should be elsewhere. They also believed the ad did not suggest that solitary gambling was preferable to social gambling.

Clearcast said they had considered the ad very carefully but concluded that it was acceptable, because they believed there was no implication that the woman did not have a life or that bingo was the only thing in her life.  They also believed the ad was acceptable because a joke was made out of the woman having fun by moving the clock on by only a few minutes; they believed the ad had a lighthearted and playful tone.  

Clearcast thought there was no suggestion that the woman preferred gambling alone to gambling with others and pointed out that the woman did not say she preferred gambling alone.

Assessment

Upheld

The ASA noted WH and Clearcast's comments. We considered, however, that the woman moving the clock forward by 15 minutes, in conjunction with the comment "I get mine the minute he has left" after her husband had left the house,  implied the woman was desperate to play bingo and was either unable to wait any longer or wanted to keep that secret from her husband. We considered that that implication was further reinforced by the woman rushing upstairs and moving the hands of her clock back so that she had more time to play. We considered that the fact the woman was still in her pyjamas implied she had to play urgently, rather than play during a break in her day as WH had suggested.  

We noted the ad referred to "a massive online community" and considered that the presentation of the ad did not imply that solitary gambling was necessarily preferable to social gambling. However, we considered that, by implying that the woman was desperate to play online bingo and needed her husband to leave the house immediately to enable her to do so, the ad portrayed and condoned gambling behaviour that could lead to financial, social or emotional harm.  We also considered that, because it portrayed gambling as indispensable and taking priority over the woman's family, the ad condoned gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible.

The ad breached CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code rules 11.10.1(a) and 11.10.1(d) (Gambling). We also investigated the ad under CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code rule 11.10.1(j) (Gambling) but did not find it in breach.

Action

The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.

Adjudication of the ASA Council (Broadcast)

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