Lottoland has found itself in hot water with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over a “misleading” radio ad.
The ad in question aired last Sept. 27, and featured a voice-over that stated, “Chimp can’t believe it. At Lottoland the EuroMillions still costs just £2. Not £2.50,” noting that the Friday’s jackpot was £100 million. The advertisement also enticed customers to download the brand’s app or visit it official website to get their first bet free of charge.
The ad featured another voice over, which referred to the legal disclaimer of the offer, explaining that the offer was available for UK residents only and that the first free bet is on EuroMillions or equivalent price lottery.
The complainant, however, challenged whether the ad misleadingly implied that the product was a lottery.
Lottoland’s advertising agency (VTR North) stated that they took extra care to make clear in the ad that Lottoland offered a gambling service. They believed that this was achieved by referring to the term “bet,” which they stated was mentioned in the main body of the ad as well as in the legal disclaimer. Lottoland also said that their advertising across all their platforms made a clear distinction between their gambling product and an actual lottery ticket by referring to the word “bet” or “betting.”
The ASA, however, thinks otherwise.
In its ruling, the watchdog said the ad is misleading, not because it used the “chimp” word,
The ASA ruled the ad as misleading, since some of the statements made by the main voiceover would imply that the ad was actually promoting a lottery. Some of the references made by the voiceover also contributed to the overall impression that a lottery product was being promoted, according to the watchdog.
ASA experts said the term “bet” used in the advert could help the brand’s customers to learn that actually a gambling product was being promoted, and not an actual lottery in case that the ad’s terms were clear enough. In addition, the watchdog explained that the main voiceover also referred to the website of Lottoland, where players would be granted with their first bet free, but the voiceover for the disclaimer referred to EuroMillions, hence the ruling that the ad did not make it clear enough for the users that they would be gambling on the outcome of a lottery instead of actually taking part in it.
ASA ruled that the ad breached BCAP Code rules 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 and 3.3.1, which related to misleading advertising.
“The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Lottoland to ensure future advertising did not misleadingly imply participants would be entering a lottery,” ASA stated.