A YouTube ad for online casino PlayOjo, seen on 5 May 2018. The ad started with a shot of an alpaca in the rain. A man’s voice said, “See that alpaca? That was me. Some online casinos treated me unfairly.” Bird droppings landed on the alpaca’s head and the man’s voice said, “Ugh, typical.” The video then cut to a shot of the alpaca running in a sunny field. The man’s voice said, “Then I discovered a fair casino that pays all bonuses in cash and now I’ve found my Ojo. Find your Ojo at PlayOjo.com.” Edited clips of the alpaca showed it moving back and forth in rhythm to music.
The complainant challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because it implied that gambling could provide an escape from personal problems such as loneliness or depression.
Skill on Net Ltd t/a PlayOjo said the way the alpaca said he was treated by other casions in the ad referenced how other online casinos paid out acquisition bonuses to players and the terms attached to those payments, e.g. wagering requirements. They said that this view regarding other online casinos was shared by the Competition and Markets Authority who had led an investigation in collaboration with the Gambling Commission to tackle the shared concerns around transparency and fairness.
PlayOjo said that since March 2017 they had not enforced any wagering requirements for rewards or bonuses and that any winnings from new or existing player bonuses were paid in cash with no maximum bet or win restrictions. They said the ad was meant to communicate to UK online casino players that there was an alternative to playing with other operators that enforced wagering requirements.
PlayOjo said they were not implying the alpaca was unhappy because he was lonely, depressed or had any personal, professional or educational problems. They said the reference to “finding your Ojo” only communicated the fact that the alpaca had discovered the brand “Ojo”. They said the transformation in the mood of the alpaca and the environment (dark to light) was a visual reference both to how he felt since discovering PlayOjo and the positive emotions associated with fair treatment.
The CAP Code required that the ads must not condone or encourage gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible or suggested that gambling could provide an escape from personal, professional or educational problems such as loneliness or depression.
We understood that the phrase “Find Your Ojo” would be understood as a reference to the brand name PlayOjo. We noted that at the beginning of the ad, the man’s voice stated that he felt unfairly treated by other online casinos, whereas PlayOjo had treated him fairly by rewarding his bonuses in cash. We considered that changes in setting were reflective of the character’s varying sense of satisfaction with different gambling products and treatment he’d received, rather than portraying its change in mood before and after gambling. We considered that the phrase “Find Your Ojo” in and of itself was unlikely to suggest that gambling could provide an escape, particularly as it was linked to the name of the brand and therefore less likely to be interpreted to mean that gambling can provide an escape from personal problems.
For those reasons we concluded that the ad was not in breach of the code.
We investigated under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 16.1 16.1 Marketing communications for gambling must be socially responsible, with particular regard to the need to protect children, young persons and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited. and 16.3.3 16.3.3 suggest that gambling can provide an escape from personal, professional or educational problems such as loneliness or depression (Gambling), but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.