UK Ad Regulators Don’t Think PokerStars Bluffing Ad is Funny
PokerStars’ UK division is under fire from the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for an advertisement implying that inexperienced poker players can survive, and even thrive, by simply bluffing their way to success. Earlier this week, the ASA banned the ad in response to several complaints that it made playing poker look a whole lot easier than it actually is.
The ad in question features an inexperienced poker player sitting at a table playing cards and a voice-over that reads:
Here you are, the moment when bluffing is the only way to win, you’re freaking out kiddo, but think about all those times you bluffed yourself. Like the pull-up bar waiting for you to get back in-shape, that book you’re definitely going to read, your parents never ever had sex. Use that talent because if you can bluff yourself, you can bluff anyone. Pokerstars, you’re already a great poker player.
That script triggered a number of complaints from citizens who thought that PokerStars was making gambling look to easy and that it portrayed gambling in a reckless manner.
PokerStars responded by pointing out that bluffing is an integral part of the game, no matter what your skill level. They also said that the players in the ad were depicted in a friendly home game and that there was no suggestion that the voice over player was actually inexperienced at poker.
The UK ASA, however, disagreed. In their decision, they said that the advertisement did indeed portray a reckless gambling environment and that the advertisement should be banned from British airwaves forever. No monetary fine was issued.