Summary of Council decision:
Two issues were investigated, both of which were Not upheld
A TV ad for the board game ‘Go for Broke’ by John Adams Leisure Ltd was seen on dedicated children’s channels in October and November 2021. The ad featured a family of a mum, dad and two children with the voice-over stating, “The game you win by losing a million.” The ad then showed the family playing the board game and featured them using a slot machine, stock exchange spinner and racetrack spinner as part of the game. The voice-over continued, “Be the first to blow a million and you can win but slip up and you’ll gain it all back.” A song in the background featured the lyrics “… Buy, spend, it’s a race to the end. Go for broke”.
The ad was given a scheduling restriction not to be transmitted in the breaks of children’s programmes featuring the actors. No other restrictions were in place.
IssueThe complainants, who understood the ad had been shown on a dedicated children’s TV channel and considered the ad featured a gambling theme, challenged whether the ad irresponsibly promoted gambling to children and had been given an appropriate scheduling restriction.
John Adams Leisure Ltd did not agree that the ad promoted gambling to children or was socially irresponsible. They said ‘Go for Broke’ was a family game that had been in the UK market in various forms since the 1960s.
The players shown in the ad were not gambling or trying to win money and the winner of the game was the person who lost all their money. They said it was clearly fake money shown in the advert, similar to the game ‘Monopoly’.
The ad was set within the socially responsible setting of the family home. It portrayed a family playing together and they were seen smiling and having fun throughout.
Clearcast did not agree that the ad was inappropriately scheduled. They reiterated that the advertised product was a board game suitable for all the family with an age recommendation of 8 years and over.
They said the board game had been advertised responsibly as it did not condone or encourage children to play for money. They said that whilst there may be themes within the ad synonymous with games played for money, the purpose of gambling was to play a game with the intent to win money and no gambling for real money took place in the ad.
The ASA understood that the advertised product, Go for Broke, was a family board game suitable for children aged eight and above, and that the aim of the game was to be the first to deliberately lose one million pounds. We understood that it had been scheduled without any restrictions (except that it could not be broadcast in breaks during programmes in which the actors were featured) and that it had been broadcast on dedicated children’s channels.
We considered that while the ad featured certain elements of the game that viewers were likely to associate with casinos, for example, a miniature slot machine it was clear from the ad that the product being promoted was a family board game.
We therefore concluded that the ad was not irresponsible on the basis that it encouraged or promoted gambling to children, and it had not been scheduled irresponsibly.
We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 1.2 1.2 Advertisements must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to the audience and to society. (Social responsibility) and 32.3 32.3 Relevant timing restrictions must be applied to advertisements that, through their content, might harm or distress children of particular ages or that are otherwise unsuitable for them. (Scheduling), but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.