Text on the home page of www.betway.com stated "£50 Free Bet*". The asterisk linked to a tab at the bottom of the page which stated "Bonus Terms".
A complainant challenged whether the ad was misleading, because it did not make significant conditions sufficiently clear.
Betway Ltd acknowledged receipt of the complaint but sent no substantive response to the ASA's enquiries.
The ASA noted that the terms and conditions attached to the offer stated that it operated by matching a new customer's first deposit. It was subject to a minimum deposit by the customer of £10 and a maximum of £50 and would expire seven days after the first deposit. The customer needed to place bets totalling the value of their first deposit. We considered those particular requirements were significant conditions that were likely to affect consumers' understanding of the nature of the offer. Such significant conditions should either have been made clear in the ad or, if the ad was significantly limited by space, the ad should have clearly indicated the offer was subject to significant conditions and direct consumers to the conditions. The terms and conditions in this case were stated on the website, one click away from the ad. However, we considered the ad, being a full page on Betway Ltd's own website, was not significantly limited by space and so, to be sufficiently clear to consumers, the terms and conditions should have been stated in the ad itself.
Because the terms and conditions were not stated on the ad itself, we considered they were not sufficiently clear and concluded that the ad was in breach of the Code.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules
Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
Marketing communications must not mislead the consumer by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.
Material information is information that the consumer needs to make informed decisions in relation to a product. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead the consumer depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the marketing communication is constrained by time or space, the measures that the marketer takes to make that information available to the consumer by other means. (Misleading advertising), 3.10 3.10 Qualifications must be presented clearly.
CAP has published a Help Note on Claims that Require Qualification. (Qualification) and 3.23 3.23 Marketing communications must make clear the extent of the commitment the consumer must make to take advantage of a "free" offer. (Free).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Betway Ltd to ensure that significant qualifications and limitations to offers were presented clearly in future.