UK advertising watchdog spanks William Hill, Betway

TAGs: Advertising Standards Authority, betway, William Hill

william-hill-advertising-kids-bearsThe UK’s advertising watchdog has spanked online operator William Hill and Betway for contravening gambling ad guidelines.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received a complaint regarding three promos issued via Hills’ @WillHillBet Twitter account. One promo featured a child jumping in the air holding a golf club and ball, with the accompanying text “#TheMasters has started! #yippee”.

The two other ads were promoting prop wagers on the gender of the latest royal baby and featured images of two teddy bears wearing crowns riding around on the back of a truck. The accompanying text read “Seen our teddy bears around London today?” while offering a free bet on the Grand National to anyone who took a photo of the bears and tweeted it.

The complainant felt the ads were “likely to be of particular appeal to children” and the ASA determined that the ads violated the rules prohibiting the use of children or young people in gambling marketing. Hills copped to the fact that the images weren’t acceptable and said it had taken steps to ensure there would be no repeat performance.

The Malta-based Betway was a little less bothered by the ASA’s probing. A complaint was made regarding a ‘£50 Free Bet’ offer on Betway’s homepage, which the complainant argued didn’t make significant conditions – including a seven-day expiry period – sufficiently clear.

The ASA said Betway acknowledged receiving its complaint but “sent no substantive response to the ASA’s enquiries.” The ASA ultimately concluded that while Betway’s terms and conditions page outlined the promotion’s limitations, the size of the full-page promo “was not significantly limited by space” and thus should have listed the conditions there and then.


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