A TV ad for bet365, seen in June 2017, showed shots of a skier on a remote mountain, at a rooftop bar, a beach bar and spectators at a stadium all using bet365 accompanied by a voice-over from Ray Winstone which stated, “Not a single moment goes by when I cannot immerse myself entirely in sport. I can shout and scream in a hundred different stadiums all at the same time. I am a member of the world’s favourite online sports betting company and I gamble responsibly at bet365".
The complainant, who believed that the ad encouraged excessive gambling, challenged whether the ad was socially irresponsible.
Hillside (UK Sports) LP t/a bet365 stated that the ad showed four people, in different international locations and at different times using bet365, and that it did not suggest that people were being encouraged to use bet365 excessively.
The ad did not prominently feature gambling and was intended to emphasise bet365’s online features. Furthermore, at no point in the ad did it show any bets being placed.
bet365 stated that there was no suggestion that any of the people depicted in the ads spent excessive amounts of time gambling on bet365, since they were not shown betting at all. Instead, they were checking the bet365 website during their leisure time and live-streaming sports.
They stated that the video did not show gambling taking priority over family, friends or professional commitments. They stated that the only mention of gambling in the ad was in the description of bet365 as “the world’s favourite online sports betting company” and “I gamble responsibly”.
Clearcast stated that they did not believe that the ad breached the code for the same reasons as bet365.
The BCAP Code stated that marketing communications for gambling must not portray, condone or encourage gambling behaviour that is socially irresponsible or could lead to financial, social or emotional harm. It also stated that marketing communications for gambling must not portray gambling as indispensable or as taking priority in life – e.g., over family, friends or professional or educational commitments.
We considered that the ad primarily emphasised bet365’s live-streaming capability and the accessibility of the platform. The ad showed people using bet365 in different locations in quick succession but these did not appear to be the same people. Additionally the ad did not show people using bet365 to gamble and on two occasions showed them using bet365 to live-stream sports. This was highlighted by the voice-over which stated, “Not a single moment goes by when I cannot immerse myself entirely in sport”. We considered that, although bet365 offers gambling services, this statement, combined with images of people using bet365’s live-streaming features, emphasised watching sports over gambling.
Although the ad stated, “Not a single moment goes by when I cannot immerse myself entirely in sport”, it showed people performing leisure activities and did not display anybody at work or with family. We considered that the ad emphasised people at leisure and did not portray gambling as indispensable or taking priority in life.
Because of this, we considered that the ad did not portray or encourage gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible or portray gambling as indispensable or taking priority in life.
We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 17.3.1 and 17.3.4 (Gambling), but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.