Posted 3/11/11 : CASSAVA – SING BINGO AD COMPLAINT UPHELD
ASA ruling goes against gambling group
The UK Advertising Standards Authority has released a finding against another online gambling company, this time criticising an internet promo launched by Cassava Enterprises's Sing Bingo website.
The promo was headed "DEBT FREE 2011!" and asked recipients "How do you fancy having your bills paid in 2011? Sing is prepared to do just that for one lucky player in our new 2011 Debt Free Heaven promo … No more stress, no more worries and no more running away from the morning postman!"
The terms and conditions specified: "Bills paid for a year is equivalent to GBP200 a month given over the year. Total of GBP2 400 … Cards cost 1p – Minimum is 1 card, maximum is 96 cards".
Complaints were received by the ASA claiming that the promo was irresponsible in that it encouraged readers to gamble in order to become ‘debt free'; and was additionally misleading, because the prize was unlikely to cover the debts of an average person.
Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Ltd said that it was not its intention to mislead and pointed out that terms and conditions on the page explained, "bills paid for a year is equivalent to GBP200 a month over the year. Total of GBP2,400".
The firm acknowledged that the promotion could be in breach of the Code by advertising gambling as a solution to financial concerns, and assured ASA that the promotion had been amended and all references to debt removed.
The ASA upheld the complaint on both grounds, and ruled that the promotion must not appear again in its current form. Cassava Enterprises was warned to ensure that future promotions for gambling services did not imply gambling was a solution to financial concerns.