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‘Socially irresponsible’ Rank and Coral ads banned by ASA

Casino operators Rank and Entained-owned Coral have both been branded as ‘socially irresponsible by the UK Advertising Standards Authority, otherwise known as the ASA, and pulled one of their advertisements each.

The Rank ad in question said: “Everyone wants to solve their financial problems. Click the download button right now and start to earn. It’s all very easy to do with our application. Pay off loans, buy a car and a nice house and make a lot of money!”
And at the bottom, the text stated, “Welcome bonus £400”.

It appeared on the Lucky Night mobile casino game and was about Rank’s Wolf Gold casino game. The ASA pointed out that the use of “start to earn” and “make a lot of money” implied that the app, and by extension gambling, could provide a means of consistent income and financial security and further pushed the point by hinting that the player could then afford expensive items like houses and cars, with the income from gambling.

In their defense, Rank pointed to a third-party organization called WakeApp, which deals with in-app media on behalf of Rank and bought the ad. Following the complaint, Rank terminated its contract with WakeApp and said they were unaware of the ad.

Meanwhile, the Coral advertisement was a TV affair that showed a horse racing event and asked: “How long have you waited for those gates to crash open?”, which suggested to the ASA that gambling was occupying the mind of the bettor. Coral, however, pointed out that the ad had no mention of betting.

The ASA said: “We considered that the particular presentation of those elements of the ad, in combination with the voice-over, carried a significant risk of replicating or recalling ‘highs’ associated with previous successful bets or betting in general, for viewers vulnerable to problem gambling.”