Gala under-fire as ASA throws out Betfair and PlayOJO complaints

It has been a busy week for the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), upholding one complaint against Gala Interactive, but throwing out further issues levelled at Betfair Casino and SkillOnNet.

Relating to Gala Interactive’s site, one complainant raised an objection with an advert that portrayed a man playing on his tablet, before making a gesture with his arm and going on to spin plates on his fingers.

A challenge was raised as to whether “the ad implied that gambling involved skill rather than chance, and therefore was socially irresponsible”.

Responding it was stressed that use of the phrase “… see if you’ve got the talent,” and the word ‘talent’ in particular, was a direct reference to the new Britain’s Got Talent Slingo game being advertised.

Furthermore, Gala Interactive stated that “ in the context of the ad “talent” meant having fun and enjoying oneself, such as the enjoyment depicted by the characters watching the plate-spinner. Clearcast said that like all Gala ads, it was meant to be light-hearted and not to be considered seriously. They said the plate spinning was also used as a reference to the advertising slogan “Spincredible” and the type of game (slots) that was advertised.”

Considering the explanation laid before it, the ASA judged that in the context of the ad the claim implied that a degree of skill could be exercised to improve winning opportunities.

Upholding the complaint, the ad must not appear in its current form, with the ASA reminding the firm “to ensure their advertising did not suggest that there was a degree of skill in the game”.

Betfair Casino came under fire due to a pair of adverts, with it raised that “the ad breached the code by prominently featuring someone who seemed to be under 25 years old”.

Proving evidence that the actor in question is in-fact 27 years of age, Betfair also emphasised “he was not dressed in clothes which were associated with youth culture, nor did he behave in an adolescent, juvenile or loutish way in the ad”.

Considering the styling of the individual in question, the ASA noted “While we acknowledged that the ad featured a young man, we considered that he did not appear to be under the age of 25.”

Finally, the SkillOnNet powered online casino PlayOJO found itself under question, with one complainant challenge whether the content of an advert “was irresponsible, because it implied that gambling could provide an escape from personal problems such as loneliness or depression”.

In response the firm stated the language featured “referenced how other online casinos paid out acquisition bonuses,” also referencing a joint Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and Gambling Commission investigation into such matters.

Also stressing the Alpaca was not lonely, depressed or had any personal, professional or educational problems, reference of the phrase “finding your Ojo” only communicated the fact that the alpaca had discovered the brand.

Considering the evidence before it, the ASA concluded that the ad was not in breach.