A video on the home page of www.oddsmonkey.com, seen on 5 June 2017, stated “For years Odds Monkey has helped over 30,000 people earn up to £1,500 per month”.
The complainant challenged whether the claim “For years Odds Monkey has helped over 30,000 people earn up to £1500 per month” was misleading and could be substantiated.
DotNetPages Ltd t/a OddsMonkey said the amount of money their members earned
depended on how much time they committed to matched betting and the strategies they used to earn money through matched betting. OddsMonkey provided screenshots from an online message board where they had asked their members to tell them the amounts of money they had earned cumulatively in July 2017. These ranged from £100 to £5,890. OddsMonkey said that if their members were only prepared to commit to one to two hours of matched betting per day, they would earn less than those who committed five to six hours per day.
They sent marketing data which they said showed they had 26,909 customers during the period 1 June 2016 and 16 August 2017.
The ASA considered most consumers would interpret the claim to mean that at least 30,000 OddsMonkey customers had made long-term earnings of up to £1,500 every month and that a significant proportion had made long-term earnings of £1,500.
The data that OddsMonkey sent us showed the number of customers they had between June 2016 and August 2017 and that number was less than 30,000. The data was produced by a third-party marketing tool which we considered was adequate substantiation for the number of customers OddsMonkey had. Although the amount of customers during that period was less than 30,000 we considered it was highly likely that over the course of its trading history, they would have attracted at least 30,000 customers.
However, that evidence did not include information with regard to the earnings of the 26,909 customers, how long those customers continued to use OddsMonkey or if any money was earned month-after-month.
We acknowledged the comments from the OddsMonkey message board were taken from what appeared to be genuine users. However, we considered that message board comments were not adequate evidence to support the claim, as they only related to earnings in July 2017, and we also had not seen documentary evidence to support their comments. We did not consider that the evidence related to the earnings of all its members over a sufficiently long period in order to substantiate the long-term earnings claim.
Because OddsMonkey did not provide adequate evidence to show that their customers made long-term earnings of up to £1,500 per month we concluded the ad was misleading.
The ad breached CAP code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 3.7 Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that consumers are likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation. The ASA may regard claims as misleading in the absence of adequate substantiation. (Substantiation).
The ad must not appear in its current form again. We told OddsMonkey not to make claims about the level of earnings of their members, such as that 30,000 members had longstanding earnings of up to £1,500 per month, unless they held adequate substantiation.