BUSINESS

UK ad watchdog delivers double whammy to Coral

TAGs: Advertising Standards Authority, Coral, gala coral group, Jasmine Solana

Betting shop Coral has found itself in deep trouble over “misleading” free bet deals that ran during Euro 2016.

UK ad watchdog delivers double whammy to CoralBack in June, the gambling company sent out an email promoting free £10 bets on the outcome of Euro 2016 matches, but only if the bets were placed after 8 p.m. “on the day before the nominated game until kick-off.” A pop-up ad, which ran on Coral Interactive’s website on June 15, similarly promoted the free £10 bets.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), however, ruled that the promotions did not make the conditions “sufficiently clear,” even though the timing restriction appeared in the terms of conditions of both promotions.

Coral admitted that “it was an error not to include that information in the main body the ads,” but stressed that the promotion was advertised “in advance of it going live.”

“They apologized for the mistake, and said they had begun taking steps to ensure that time-sensitive promotions always carried significant conditions in the main body of ads, and were also introducing a second internal compliance review of all promotions to ensure fairness and compliance with the code,” ASA said in its ruling.

The betting shop, however, isn’t off the hook. Yet.

ASA investigated a second Coral complaint, this time over an email promotion that ran during the summer tournament, offering customers a free £10 bet every time a British or Irish team scored in the first round of matches” only if they bet £20 on any team to win the competition.

Three complainants, who received the email and placed their bets, claimed they were told that they were not eligible to participate in the offer.

Coral admitted the email promotion was valid for selected customers only, but “due to human error it had been sent to some customers who were restricted from receiving free bets.” The betting shop also apologized in a follow-up email.

“The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Coral Interactive (Gibraltar) Ltd to ensure in future their promotional advertising did not misleadingly imply that an offer was open to everyone, unless that was the case,” ASA said.

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