William Hill advert blocked on Tinder: gambling as a way of breaking into sexual life
A complainant requested the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) intervention, finding out the UK gambling code violated on Tinder. This single claim was sufficient to start a ban on the advertisement on the grounds of implying “seduction, sexual success or enhanced attractiveness”.
The promotional material looked not problematic at first sight. It asked, “Stuck in the friend zone? You won’t be for much longer if you use this Cheltenham free bet offer”, providing also information on horseracing betting online.
The idiom “friend zone” was a red flag for critics, including ASA. They considered the message not being in line with the advertisement rules.
That phrase could be interpretable for sure. Analyzing the semantics of “stuck in the friend zone”, it refers to the situation when a person desires to start friendly but sexless relationship with someone.
However, ASA considered the message to be a suggestive and subliminal advertisement: who would apply for the offers would have more chances to turn a friendly relationship into a romantic one. Like winning a sports bet might conduct to success in the bedroom.
Surely the bookmaker replied amazed that applying the offers, customers could increase their relationship with the company rather than with the potential lovers. Even if it was not “their intention to link gambling to sexual success,” the advert has been removed.
William Hill said, “We took on board the ASA ruling and immediately removed the advert in question.”
Relating to this, ASA commented, “They had removed the ad and were in the process of conducting a full review of existing content on the platform.”
Blamed in promoting harmful and social irresponsible messages, Tinder app communicated to ASA that after a deeply examination of the advert, they found nothing and have been clean as a whistle.
This year ASA declared war against incompetent gambling companies. The UK advertising watchdogs were excessively scrupulous about the initiatives of social irresponsibility and offensive behavior towards minors.
In this content, an announcement on Monopoly-themed online game received interdiction for the use of the popular cartoon mascot – Mr Rich Uncle Pennybags, as being likely to children.
More recently a Paddy Power TV campaign was banned for glamorizing gambling. The advert presented the brother of the ex-Manchester footballer, Ryan Giggs, adopting a glamorous lifestyle and showing the fictional road to wonderland.
Thereby last month five gambling companies suffered the banning consequences, after breaching the rules relating to the gambling among children.
From this we see that ASA strengthens their standards to increase the level of social responsibility in gambling advertising.