Wednesday June 26,2013 : TV NETWORK IN SERIOUS ONLINE GAMBLING ADVERT ERROR
Coral advert inadvertently scheduled during children's television slot
According to a report by the British Broadcasting Corporation, a television network breached gambling advertising rules recently by screening an advert for UK bookmaker Coral on its children's channels.
Coral has been cleared of any wrongdoing and immediately removed the adverts when the Advertising Standards Authority received complaints.
The advert for Coral was broadcast nine times on Saturday 25 May between 06:42 BST and 08:42 on Turner Broadcasting's Cartoon Network and Boomerang channels.
The ASA said Turner had explained that the advert was broadcast in error, and had "apologised unreservedly".
Coral said it was "horrified" by the inadvertent transmission.
The offending advert opened with a voiceover saying: "This is Coral gaming, online and on mobile" before showing a shot of the Incredible Hulk – a theme in one of the games on offer – among other images.
UK broadcast code strictly prohibits gambling adverts "in or adjacent to programmes commissioned for, principally directed at, or likely to appeal particularly to audiences below the age of 18 years".
Seven viewers complained that the advert was unsuitable for broadcast on dedicated children's channels.
The ASA said the advert had been cleared with a note reminding broadcasters of the gambling industry's voluntary agreement not to schedule gaming adverts before 21:00.
The Authority said it is "deeply concerned" that the advert had been broadcast, but acknowledged Turner's assurance that it was taking steps to prevent the mistake being repeated.
It ruled that no further action was necessary because the advert had already been removed from broadcast.
Turner said it had been "inadvertently and incorrectly scheduled" after a booking number was erroneously allocated to the advert.
"We apologise unreservedly and have reviewed our transmission processes to ensure this highly regrettable incident remains a one-off occurrence," it added.
Coral said neither it nor its agency had booked advertising air time on children's channels or during any other children's programmes.
After being notified of the error, it instigated an investigation and suspended all other Coral adverts due to be aired by Turner that weekend.
In related news, the publication Marketing Week reports that the ASA also took action against a William Hill television ad that it claimed showed “sensual areas” of a female casino croupier’s body.
The Authority thought rather tenuously that the advert linked gambling to sex and seduction.
The offending ad, which can be seen here:
showed a close-up of a woman who slowly opened her eyes and looked directly at the camera, which then panned down past her cleavage to a roulette wheel, a pack of playing cards and gambling chips. A voiceover stated “experience a live casino like no other” while the creative featured several female casino croupiers in gold basque-type tops and male croupiers wearing suits…all familiar on land casino floors.
Whilst not overtly seductive, the advert triggered a reaction from the Gambling Reform and Society Perception Group (GRASP) and one other viewer, who complained that the spot linked gambling to seduction.
William Hill marketers pointed out that the ad did not make any claims that gambling increased consumers’ sexual success or attractiveness, nor did it link gambling to seduction. It said all the uniforms shown were “tasteful, professional and reflected the feedback” from [a London Mayfair casino’s] staff.
Broadcast clearing body Clearcast said because the ad did not show anyone gambling there could be no link to seduction, sexual success or enhanced attractiveness.
However, the Advertising Standards Authority said the focus on the eyes in the first scene of the ad could be interpreted as a “signal of attraction”. Furthermore, the choice to show “sensual areas” of the female croupier’s body enhanced the sense of seduction.
The ASA disagreed with Clearcast, saying the voice-over and on-screen text references to “casino” and the roulette visuals identified it as a gambling ad.