The Betway website https://betway.com, seen on 20 June 2016, included a page which featured large text stating “Football Betting Offer £30 Free Bet … Bet Now”. Smaller text underneath stated “*Key Terms 1) New Customers Only. 2) Min deposit £10+ required. 3) Maximum Free Bet Amount is £30. 4) Free Bet will be unlocked after original deposit is staked. 5) Additional Terms apply”.
The complainant, who did not believe it made clear that to obtain a free bet of £30 customers had to deposit the same amount, challenged whether the ad was misleading.
Betway Ltd said they agreed that the complaint had merit, because the significant conditions quoted within the ad omitted that it was for a 100% matched free bet based on the amount of a new customer’s first deposit. However, the full terms and conditions for the promotion did state this clearly. They said they had now amended the ad to make clear that it was for a matched bet and would take steps to ensure this didn’t occur again.
The ASA considered the ad implied the free bet was a fixed amount of £30, and did not make clear that it was in fact a matched bet of between £10 and £30, depending on the amount deposited by new customers. We considered that this was significant material information which needed to be stated clearly within the ad. Because the ad implied the offer was for a fixed free bet amount of £30 and omitted material information, we concluded that it was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules
Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
(Misleading advertising) and
All marketing communications or other material referring to promotions must communicate all applicable significant conditions or information where the omission of such conditions or information is likely to mislead. Significant conditions or information may, depending on the circumstances, include:
How to participate
How to participate, including significant conditions and costs, and other major factors reasonably likely to influence consumers' decision or understanding about the promotion (Significant conditions for promotions).
The ad must not appear again in the form complained of. We told Betway Ltd to ensure that ads for free bets made clear if the free bet amount on offer was matched to the amount deposited by customers. We welcomed their willingness to make changes to the ad.