The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a trifecta of complaints levelled against the 777 Casino brand of 888, which challenged the “misleading” nature of a number of claims.
This stems from an advertorial for the brand, as seen on www.betterdeals.live on 14 June 2021, which features text at the top of the page which read “This is a Slot Machine App You Should be Playing in 2021”.
Further text also stated that “Using the free spins from the popular 777 Slots app, 32 year old Simona Moron wins the progressive jackpot*” and “Casinos are trying to shut down a free Android App that’s allowing everyday people, like Simona Moron, to win huge progressive jackpots using nothing but free spins”.
Moreover, at the foot of the page in question, it also proclaimed “77 Free Spins (*T&C’s apply) ENABLED FOR ANOTHER” and a countdown timer from three minutes.
One complaint challenged whether this countdown timer was misleading, due to a belief that the free spins offer did not end when it reached zero. The ASA itself also challenged whether claims were misleading and could be substantiated.
In its response, 888 stated that “they had a policy in place with third-party publishers who created marketing materials for them, which prohibited them from using agencies to create ads which had not been provided by 777.com themselves”.
It was added that in this instance, the third-party publisher had used a creative which had not been designed or approved by the company, and had been posted without their knowledge or approval.
777.com added that they had identified the ad on July 2, 2021, and had subsequently instructed the third-party publisher to remove it on the same day before also suspending all campaigns with the company in question “until further notice”.
The brand added that should they resume working with the publisher in the future, they would do so subject to a review and monitoring process of any potential campaigns’ promotional materials.
Upon upholding the external complaint, the ASA acknowledged that publication was undertaken by an affiliate marketer “without their approval or knowledge and in breach of their agreement,” however, the authority adds that as beneficiaries “they were responsible for the ad”.
It was also added that due to the time resetting and counting down from three minute once refreshed, the promotion was not time limited and “the ad was misleading”.
The ASA added that it considered the claim “Casinos are trying to shut down a free Android App” as an indication that action had been taken by casinos to try and prevent the app from operating.
Adding that a fellow claim of “that’s allowing everyday people, like Simona Moron, to win huge progressive jackpots using nothing but free spins” as a sign that consumers had accrued sizable winnings using only free spins.
Due to the igaming entity not providing any evidence to support either claim, it was also concluded that these further points were misleading.
The ASA notified 888 UK, trading as 777.com, that the ads must not appear again in the form complained about, and to ensure that they held adequate evidence to substantiate claims made in ads for 777, even when placed by affiliate marketers.
The company was also reminded that they must ensure that future advertising for 777 did not misleadingly imply that offers were time-limited if that was not the case.