Channel 5 program Did Not Break ASA Gambling Ad Rule
Wednesday July 9,2014 : CHANNEL FIVE EXONERATED ON GAMBLING ADVERT COMPLAINTS
Running online gambling adverts during a program on debt escapes censure.
The controversy over Channel Five's screening of gambling adverts during a television program featuring a problem gambler titled My Spiral into Debt Hell has ended positively for the UK broadcaster.
The Channel 5 program focused on people suffering from debt problems, including one who ran up GBP 70,000 from online gambling, and complaints were laid with the Advertising and Standards Authority when the commercial breaks included ads for Supercasino and Rush Poker Mobile.
The television station responded to the complaints by claiming that its program illustrated that gambling did not solve financial problems, and could lead to debt and distress. The adverts were shown after the regulatory 9pm watershed and were targeted on an adult audience.
The Authority noted that the program content was anecdotal in nature and did not furnish practical advice to vulnerable viewers who might be in debt.
Although it found the positioning of the gambling adverts in such a program "incongruous", the Authority ruled that the scheduling of the ads around the program was not irresponsible, or an unsuitable juxtaposition that was likely to cause distress or offence to viewers.
The adverts in question therefore did not breach its rules on social responsibility and scheduling, the ASA found.