Ladbrokes has hit out at the Advertising Standards Authority for what it claims is a ban on humour in gambling ads. It comes after the watchdog ruled against a recent ad campaign for ladbrokescasino.com.
The gaming operator is lodging a request for the decision to be reconsidered by the Independent Reviewer of ASA Adjudications.
The three ads, which were created by M&C Saatchi, show people involved in bizarre situations to “quench their thrill buds”. The campaign has been filmed in a documentary style and aims to be tongue in cheek.
The ASA received a complaint about one execution showing a diver and skydiver going to increasing lengths to satisfy their thirst for adventure. It ruled that the ad breached the CAP TV Advertising Standards Code by “portraying gambling in a context of toughness and linking it to recklessness”.
Ladbrokes says the ruling is “an example of political correctness going too far” and is, “in effect, a ban on humour in gambling ads”.
Ladbrokes Remote Betting and Gaming managing director John O’Reilly says the company supports the industry code of practice. He adds: “We believe the ads are compliant, as they are humorous and show people in fantastical situations to which no one would aspire. Consumers know that you cannot jump from a plane using a 30g bag of crisps as a parachute.”
Ladbrokes says the ads were approved by Clearcast, the company responsible for the clearance of television ads before broadcast. It adds that following a draft recommendation by the ASA to uphold the complaint, it requested a referral to the CAP General Media Panel, an independent panel of industry experts and one ASA member, who recommended the complaint be dismissed.