An ad for the website www.luckyacepoker.com appeared on a social networking site. Text included "Join Now & Get £10 Free to play with!".
The complainant challenged whether the claim "Join Now & Get £10 Free to play with!" was misleading, because he joined via the ad and did not receive the advertised bonus.
LuckyAcePoker.com (LuckyAcePoker) said, as with all such promotions, the offer was subject to clear, published terms and conditions. The terms and conditions, which could be viewed on the LuckyAcePoker website, stated "entry to the promotion is available only to persons over the age of 18 who do not have any previous account with the promoter". They said the promoter was Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Ltd (Cassava) and that particular section of the conditions covered all brands operated by Cassava, including LuckyAcePoker. They provided details of the terms and conditions.
They said the complainant and his girlfriend, who had also signed up but had not received the bonus, had both previously registered accounts with their other brands. When they registered with LuckyAcePoker, they would have been required to provide personal information including e-mail addresses and the system would then check those details against those already held in relation to existing accounts. The complainant and his girlfriend were not eligible for the bonus, because their e-mail addresses were already held in relation to existing accounts. They said the system was designed to recognise existing members to ensure bonuses were not issued repeatedly.
The ASA noted the £10 bonus was available only to consumers who did not hold an account with any Cassava-owned sites. We noted that was outlined in the terms and conditions, which also stated "The Promotion shall be organized by Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Limited (the 'Promoter') who is the owner and operator, inter alia, of the brand LuckyAcePoker.com". We also noted, however, the ad made no reference to the existence of terms and conditions or where to locate them. We considered consumers were likely to understand the claim to mean that the bonus was available to all new customers of LuckyAcePoker. We also considered the availability of the bonus only to consumers who had not previously registered with any sites operated by Cassava was a significant condition that should have been made clear in the ad itself. Because that was not the case, we concluded that the ad was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules
Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
Marketing communications must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims that they qualify.
Promoters must conduct their promotions equitably, promptly and efficiently and be seen to deal fairly and honourably with participants and potential participants. Promoters must avoid causing unnecessary disappointment.
(Sales promotions) and
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 its current form. We told LuckyAcePoker to ensure they made clear the significant conditions of future promotions.