A direct mailing promoted a gambling system. Text stated ""Here is How to Make Money from Home Gambling Following My Step by Step System ... If you're anything like me then the ultimate bet is to BEAT THE BOOKMAKER! And whilst most punters eventually give up expecting great monthly profits from winners I have been enjoying profits month after month backing winners using a secret strategy. As I write I have personally enjoyed 15 consecutive profitable months by simply betting on selections of the strategy ... I contacted Paul and started to proof the Bets. The first full month this generated +54.17 points for the month. As I pen this letter on the profit for the 2nd month is +68.72 points. Less than 8 weeks of revealing my Strategy to a third party and the profits had hit a mouth-watering ... +122.89! That's £1,228.90 at £10 a point ... £2,457.80 at £20 a point and for serious bettors an incredible £6,144.50 at £50 a point!!". The mailing also included an order form for the system.
The complainant challenged whether the claims regarding the success of the system and the results achieved were misleading and could be substantiated.
Paul Coleman t/a Confidential Publishing said he had a number of satisfied clients using his services. He said his systems were designed to help the ordinary gambler improve their returns and he used the systems himself, and only sold those that he had tested. He said he would not use the ad again.
The ASA considered that consumers reading the ad would believe that users of the system were likely to achieve profits on a monthly basis, which would be in line with those referenced in the ad. We considered that the claimed profits could encourage a consumer to place an order for the system. We noted, however, that Confidential Publishing had not provided any evidence to demonstrate that any users of the system had been successful and achieved profits as a result of using the system. We therefore concluded that the claims for the system's success had not been substantiated and were 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) 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) and 3.11 3.11 Marketing communications must not mislead consumers by exaggerating the capability or performance of a product. (Exaggeration).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Confidential Publishing they should hold evidence to support their claims about the success and profitability of their gambling system.