Another banned bingo TV advert

TV adverts that involve gambling are always going to be under more scrutiny from certain members of the public and regulatory bodies than most, but it would seem that it might be time for the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to impose a minimum number of complaints that is far greater than just one to start reviewing the bingo ads and banning them.\r\n\r\nThe Vernons Bingo TV ad that is under fire this time following just one complaint is shown here. At first glance it appears very inoffensive in a formal manner, if very offensive to online bingo players in general in the way it has dressed up the women, the dog and the set.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIt would appear that one person is examining all the bingo TV ads in fine detail and they are being found to fall foul of the following guidelines:\r\n\r\n3.1 – Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.\r\n\r\n3.10 – Advertisements must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims that they qualify.\r\n\r\n3.2 – Advertisements must not mislead consumers by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.\r\n\r\n3.25 – Advertisements must make clear the extent of the commitment consumers must make to take advantage of a ‘free’ offer.\r\n\r\nFor the first part of the complaint in the case of Vernons Bingo it is clear that all through the advert the phrase ‘£30 free’ is shown prominently at the foot of the screen and only at the very end and for a very brief time does it refer to having to make a £10 deposit to trigger the £30 free bonus.\r\n\r\nThe second part of the complaint, however, could hit all bingo TV adverts hard. If ‘the extent of the commitment consumers must make to take advantage of the ‘free’ offer’ is always deemed to be the wagering requirement, we can’t think of any that highlight this on TV. They are trying to get people to join and no matter how low the wagering, it is not something anyone likes, even though it is a fact of bingo life.\r\n\r\nAnyway, it’s back to the editing suite for Vernons Bingo and no doubt we can expect a new version of the TV ad soon.

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