The ASA has dismissed a complaint against a Betfred Bingo advert.
Earlier this year, an anonymous individual raised a complaint against a Betfred Bingo advert which depicted a woman in a bath, a man cooking and a woman exercising while all playing bingo on their smartphones. A voice-over in the ad stated: “Love to chill in the bath? Make it a thrill and a laugh with Betfred Bingo.
“Forget those two little ducks, soak up the action and win big bucks. You can even join in whilst making the tea with games from as little as just 1p. Play with Betfred Bingo and enjoy top promotions such as daily free bingo games, bonus back and more. Put the fun back into [the] house. Kick back and bingo with Betfred.”
The individual suggested that depicting characters gambling during everyday activities normalised gambling and questioned whether the advertisement was irresponsible.
However, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has now dismissed the complaint, stating that it did not “suggest that people should play bingo excessively, or that it should take priority over any social interaction”. It also stated that the ad did not portray unrealistic positive or negative emotions and did not promote high-stakes gambling.
In its official statement, the ASA said: “The ad focused on how people could gamble using Betfred Bingo while also undertaking tasks or leisure activities around the house. The characters taking a bath and exercising were shown playing bingo in conjunction with doing those tasks, rather than instead of them. Gambling was therefore not portrayed as taking priority over those tasks or as indispensable.
“During the section showing the character preparing a meal, he was seen throwing food in the air when he realised he had won a prize. While we considered the character’s exaggerated reaction to winning showed he was briefly distracted from his task, again we did not consider that this scene portrayed gambling as taking priority in life.”
The ASA added: “We concluded that the ad did not portray, condone or encourage gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible, or portray gambling as indispensable or as taking priority in life.”
Meanwhile, Betfred insisted that gambling was not promoted as the sole activity in the advertisement and that the characters depicted enjoy bingo as part of their leisure time. The firm also stressed that gambling was not promoted as indispensable and that it did not depict a taboo or forbidden act.
Instead, the ad promoted what Betfred states was the community aspect of online bingo.