ASA Adjudication on bet-at-home.com Internet Ltd
bet-at-home.com Internet Ltd
5 September 2012
Number of complaints:
A banner ad for a betting website on www.charltonathletic-mad.co.uk featured the text "LIFE IS A GAME!" alongside three consecutive changing images. The first image showed a woman's naked midriff. The second image showed a man's arms reaching around the woman and cupping her breasts. The third image showed the man's hands holding and partially covering the woman's breasts. The final image was replaced with text stating "LOVE HANDBALL?" followed by "€50 SPORT BONUS!".
The complainant challenged whether the ad was offensive.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Bet-at-home.com Internet Ltd (Bet-at-home) did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.
charltonathletic-mad.co.uk believed the ad did not breach the Code. They said it was an adult-targeted ad for a bookmaker so the content was entirely appropriate. They said they had received no complaints about the ad.
The ASA was concerned by bet-at-home's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of the CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and we told them to do so in future.
We understood that the ad was for a betting website and was published on an unofficial fan website for Charlton Athletic. We noted the publisher's comments that the ad was targeted at an adult audience. However, we also noted that the complainant considered the ad was offensive as he believed it portrayed women as sexual objects. We considered that the ad made a crude comparison between the game of handball and a woman's breasts and that the images were sexually explicit. We also noted that the images bore no relation to the service being advertised. We therefore considered that the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some consumers.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We referred the matter to the CAP Compliance team.