ASA rules Coral ads likely to appeal more strongly to under-18s than to over-18s

Following on closely from its 30 May 2018 rulings against Progress Play and TGP Europe, the ASA has today published a ruling against Coral (Interactive (Gibraltar) Limited in respect of gambling advertisements seen on 20 February 2018 that it considered were likely to appeal more strongly to under-18 year olds than to over-18s. The ruling (that can be downloaded below) states the offending ads related to the following games:

  1. “Rainbow Riches” showing an animated image that featured a rainbow, a pot of gold and a leprechaun standing on a yellow road. In reaching its decision, the ASA noted that:
    • the face of the animated leprechaun was highly stylised with a large nose, intensely flushed cheeks, big pointy ears and a big smile showing the leprechaun’s large teeth and
    • the ad included a colourful background showing a bright yellow road, which was an iconic fictional element in a famous children’s novel, bright green grass and a vibrant rainbow.
  2. “Fishin’ Frenzy” showing an animated image of fishes swimming in the ocean. In reaching its decision, the ASA noted that the fish were stylised and depicted in a cute child-like manner because they had:
    • large eyes and
    • innocent looking smiles.
  3. “Lucky Wizard” showing an animated image of a wizard. In reaching its decision, the ASA noted that:
    • the wizard was highly stylised with a large podgy nose, exaggerated cheekbones, and a thick colourful ginger beard (with a long moustache with slightly curled tips)
    • the ad included a colourful background featuring bright green grass and
    • the name of the game was spelt in gold with magical stars/bolts around it.

This yet further adverse ruling has been issued notwithstanding ASA/CAP guidance to gambling operators on what constitutes a gambling advertisement that has particular appeal to under 18 year olds (as reported by us here).

This is clearly a highly troublesome area of gambling advertising for operators and those conducting their marketing activities. As suggested in our 30 May website posting, readers with particular concerns arising from the above are invited to contact us for detailed advice.

They might also find it helpful to read David Clifton’s SBC News article entitled “What to do if you received that letter …..” that was published shortly after a joint letter was sent to holders of operating licences granted by the Gambling Commission in October 2017,  advising them to amend or remove immediately any advertisements on their websites or in third party media that were:

  • likely to appeal particularly to people aged 17 or younger and
  • generally available to view (“freely accessible”).