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ASA Upholds (Absurd) Lottoland Complaint

The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is upholding a recent complaint against Lottoland for allegedly misleading consumers about the nature of its products.

At the center of the issue are three advertisements that Lottoland ran on Bing and Google last May. The Bing ad read, “Lottoland Irish Lottery – Only £2 Here’ and ‘£209m US Powerball Lotto. £56m Megamillions 6for1. Contact us. Play here.” The two Google ads read, “Charity Combo for £2. Win-win charity Lotto + BRC Scratch 50% off. Support UK Charities Here,” and “Lottoland Lotto x5 – Just £1 – 5 chances to win £1 million’, as well as ‘CAN Your Lotto Do That? Lottoland Can.”

A single complainant told the ASA that the ads seemed to indicate that the company was offering a chance to play the lottery, rather than bet on the outcome of the lottery – and that was all it took to launch an ASA investigation.

The ASA ultimately agreed with the hyperventilating complainer and found the ads to be misleading saying, “Consumers were likely to associate lotteries with contributing to charitable causes, and we considered that the claim ‘support UK charities here’ was likely to reinforce the impression that the service being offered was a lottery,” in a statement on the ASA website.

But the ASA also concluded, “However, we understood that the ads related to a service whereby consumers could bet on the result of lottery draws.”

Lottland officials said that a third-party template used to generate online ads was ultimately responsible for the confusing wording and that steps had been taken to insure that it wouldn’t happen again. At the same time, the company was run through a major legal hassle due to a single complaint from a single person – who was clearly bearing a major grudge against either Lottoland and gaming operators in general, or a personal beef against the lottery.

Either way, that one person caused a bunch of headaches for Lotteryland, who was clearly acting in good faith throughout the entire investigation.