The ASA had received a complaint regarding a Ladbrokes TV ad that aired in April 2021. The complainant described the ad as being socially irresponsible and believed the ad depicted people who were showing signs of gambling addiction.
Ad Depicted Problem Gambling
At the beginning of the ad, a voice-over said, “I’m a nodder: up to the football, down to the app like a dog on a dashboard.”In the next clip, a man appeared at a train station apparently using his Ladbrokes app, the voice-over said, “When I bet, I’m a frustrated manager. I kick every ball.” In another scene, three men are ecstatic after a goal is scored, but as VARS (video assistant referee) was reviewed the three men appeared tense and frustrated.The ad appeared to be showing traits of addictive behaviour claimed the complainant.The ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) said, “We’ve considered that mood swings related to gambling were a problem gambling behaviour”Ladbrokes defended the complaint and assured the ASA the ad was not depicting signs of gambling addiction and had followed the guidance highlighted as problem gambling.Ladbrokes also disagreed that ad did not, favour solitary gambling over social gambling, encourage workplace gambling or gambling to be used as a solution to financial problems.
The ASA has considered the ad and came to the conclusion the man who appeared in the first clip seemed totally preoccupied while continually betting on the app rather than concentrating on the game. In the second clip, a man seemed to be totally unaware of his surroundings while he focused completely on his gambling and in the third clip, the voiceover said, “If I’ve got an Acca (accumulator) coming in, I find myself getting very excited.” The ASA also reviewed this as the man in the clip seemed to be focusing solely on his bet winning rather than the football game.The ASA said, “We considered that mood swings related to gambling were a problem gambling behaviour. Because the ad appeared to depict a major mood swing and directly related it to the tension of potentially winning an accumulator, rather than just watching sports, we considered that the ad depicted problem gambling behaviour.“For those reasons, we concluded that the ad depicted gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible, and therefore breached the code.”Ladbrokes has been warned by the ASA to make sure future ads do not depict socially irresponsible gambling behaviour, in terms of the detachment of a person’s environment, consumed with gambling or mood swings related to gambling.