Claims in an online promotion for new customers, seen on http://news.ladbrokes.com (the Ladbrokes News microsite) on 16 June 2016, included "New customers can get incredible odds on England v Wales. Pick a side and enjoy fantastic enhancements. England's upcoming clash against Wales is arguably the most eagerly anticipated contest of Euros 2016. New Ladbrokes customers are being asked to pick a side and sign-up to enjoy huge odds on the Group B encounter in Lens ... Get 6/1 for England to beat Wales OR Get 12/1 for Wales to beat England*. Maximum bet £10. One bet per new customer. Stake returned as a free bet if it's a losing selection ... *Click here for full Terms and Conditions".
The complainant, who took up the offer, challenged whether the ad was misleading because it failed to state that part of the winnings from bets would be paid in Free Bet tokens.
Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Ltd acknowledged that the ad did not make sufficiently clear how the winnings from bets placed on those ‘boosted’ odds would be paid out. They said the ad included a link to the full Terms and Conditions, which would have been seen by consumers before being able to take up the offer. Nevertheless, while that significant term was included in the terms and conditions, they recognised that it should have also been stated in the ad complained about. Going forward, Ladbrokes said that the team responsible for writing content for the Ladbrokes News microsite had been offered advice to ensure that significant terms and conditions were included in future, similar content.
The ASA welcomed Ladbrokes' willingness to amend their future advertising. We considered consumers were likely to interpret the claim "Get 6/1 for England to beat Wales OR Get 12/1 for Wales to beat England*" to mean that should they place a winning bet, their winnings would be paid out at the stated odds and would be paid in actual cash. However, we understood that winning bets under this offer would be paid out as a mixture of both cash and a free bet, with the cash element based on the market odds at the time the bet was placed and the free bet making up the difference between the market odds and the amount that would have been paid at the boosted odds of 12/1 or 6/1 (depending on the bet placed).
We acknowledged that the terms and conditions stated, "... the extra winnings will be paid in free Bet tokens, in £/€ or currency equivalent" but considered that was a significant term likely to affect consumers’ understanding of the offer. Therefore, we considered that it should have been included in the ad itself and concluded that its omission was likely to mislead consumers.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 8.17 8.17 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: (Significant conditions for promotional marketing).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Ltd to ensure that ads for their future promotions included relevant applicable significant terms and conditions where their omission was likely to mislead.