A tweet by BetPromotions4U on 26 November stated “It’s your lucky day! [link] #betting #europaleague #liverpool #klopp” and featured a close-up photo of a woman pulling her trousers down. Text on her underwear read “IF YOU CAN READ THIS IT’S YOUR LUCKY DAY”. The tweet linked to https://uk.bet-at-home.com.
The ASA challenged whether the ad breached the Code by linking gambling to sexual success.
bet-at-home.com Internet Ltd said that the tweet was from an affiliate Mr Pantic and that their affiliate agreements included abiding by the CAP Code in respect of any ads targeted at UK customers. They said that the link in the ad was geo-targeted and therefore depending on where the person clicking on it was located it would link through their relevant bet-at-home.com site. They said that this ad was not intended for a UK audience and that the affiliate in question had not acquired for them any customers from the UK. They said that it was difficult for them to proactively avoid such scenarios from occurring, but when drawn to their attention they would ensure that the affiliate removed the ad. They said the creative “It’s your lucky day!” was produced and designed by them to use in their Maltese market.
Goran Pantic t/a BetPromotions4U (who was based in Croatia) said he had sourced the image used in the ad from bet-at-home.com’s website and that the geo-targeting of the bet-at-home.com website meant that it was not possible to avoid UK consumers who clicked on the link going through to the UK website. He said that the tweet related to a Europa League match, which was a Europe-wide competition. He now understood that such images were unlikely to be allowed in UK marketing and said he would take greater care in future. The tweet had now been deleted.
The ASA considered that the tweet was targeted at UK consumers, amongst other European football fans, and was therefore within the ASA’s remit. In particular we noted that it was in English, referenced an English team and a match taking place in England and included tags which would be of interest to UK football fans such as #europaleague #liverpool #klopp. The ad also did not feature anything to indicate it was not targeting UK consumers, such as referencing foreign currencies.
The CAP Code required that marketing communications for gambling must be socially responsible and that they must not link gambling to seduction, sexual success or enhanced attractiveness. We considered that including the image of a woman pulling her trousers down and the text on her underwear stating “IF YOU CAN READ THIS IT’S YOUR LUCKY DAY” linked gambling with sexual success. We therefore concluded that the ad breached the Code.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 16.1 16.1 Marketing communications for gambling must be socially responsible, with particular regard to the need to protect children, young persons and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited. and 16.3.8 16.3.8 link gambling to seduction, sexual success or enhanced attractiveness (Gambling).
The ad must not appear again in the form complained of. We welcomed Mr Pantic’s assurance that the ad had been removed. We told bet-at-home.com Internet Ltd and Goran Pantic t/a BetPromotions4U to ensure that ads targeted at UK consumers were socially responsible and did not link gambling to sexual success.