bet365 Underfire From ASA 0

Posted on 26, July 2013

in Category Bingo News

Just two days ago we waxed lyrical about the transparency of Winner Bingo in their new commercial that clearly shows the wagering requirements for the bonus advertised. It was yesterday that a ruling was published by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) against bet365 that saw the brand penalised for NOT being transparent about their wagering requirements on an advertised bonus…

On complaint was received and the complainant challenged two aspects of an Internet sales promotion by bet365 that stated “£200 FREE BETS FOR NEW CUSTOMERS … JOIN NOW” with smaller below that indicated that Terms and Conditions were applicable to the offer.

The complainant felt that the ad was misleading for two reasons:

1. consumers would need to make a substantial financial commitment to receive the advertised £200 free bets; and
2. the deposit and bonus had to be played through three times before funds could be withdrawn.

The ASA investigated the complaint under the following CAP Codes:

3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
3.23 Marketing communications must make clear the extent of the commitment the consumer must make to take advantage of a “free” offer.
3.3 Marketing communications must not mislead the consumer by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.
Material information is information that the consumer needs to make informed decisions in relation to a product. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead the consumer depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the marketing communication is constrained by time or space, the measures that the marketer takes to make that information available to the consumer by other means.
3.9 Marketing communications must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims that they qualify.
8.18 Marketing communications that include a promotion and are significantly limited by time or space must include as much information about significant conditions as practicable and must direct consumers clearly to an easily accessible alternative source where all the significant conditions of the promotion are prominently stated. Participants should be able to retain those conditions or easily access them throughout the promotion.

Whilst bet365 did respond to the complaint stating that ‘UK consumers were comfortable with ‘free bet’ terminology, which was used as standard by the industry, and were aware that such offers had conditions associated with them’, the ASA upheld both parts of the complaint as the advert breached all of the CAP Codes shown above.

You can read the full adjudication here.