Gambling can be a lot of things to a lot of different people. For some people it represents excitement. For others it represents cash and power. The one thing it cannot represent, to the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) anyways, is sexual success. In short, gambling operators may not suggest that using their goods and services are a pathway to success in the bedroom – and that brings us to the ASA’s recent actions against UK gambling powerhouse William Hill.
Earlier this week, the ASA upheld a number of complaints against William Hill for an ad they ran based on the dating site Tindr that read, “Stuck in the friend zone? You won’t be for much longer if you use this Cheltenham free bet offer.”
Some delicate UK residents thought that William Hill was suggesting that using the Cheltenham free bet offer would increase the punter’s chances of getting new partners in bed. The ASA, of course, agreed and insisted that the ad be banned.
In a statement reported on by the Guardian, a representative of the ASA justified the ban saying, “…(the advertisement) suggested that those who gambled would be more likely to develop a friendship into a sexual relationship and therefore linked gambling with sexual success.”
William Hill officials accepted the ban and agreed that some people could have interpreted the ad as a suggestion that downloading a free bet offer is a gateway to pleasures of the flesh, but that’s definitely not what they meant by it.
With that, the ASA is free to move on to its next moral victory and William Hill (and the rest of the UK gambling operators) are free to create more ads that will keep pearl-clutching citizens up at night.