TABCORP FALLS AFOUL OF AUSSIE ADVERTISING STANDARDS BOARD
Viewers claimed TV advert portrayed excessive participation in gambling activities.
Australias Advertising Standards Board has upheld a complaint from viewers that Tabcorps "flashback weekend" television advert portrayed excessive gambling participation, but the gambling group is disputing the finding, and has requested an independent review of the case, claiming that the ad does not breach the Wagering Code.
The advert storyline depicts a woman asking her partner how his weekend away with friends had gone; the husband says he had a good time, but has mental "flashback" memories of a fishing trip in which he and his friends spent most of the time gambling, watching sports events and betting on their smart phones. So involved in the gambling were they; they overcooked fish and neglected other non-gambling activity.
The advert triggered a number of complaints from viewers who accused the material of depicting gambling as a good life choice; implying that gambling was fun and sociable; encouraging gamblers to lie about their activities to partners; glamorizing gambling; and implying addiction due to excessive gambling whilst engaged in other outdoor recreational activities. As such, the complainants alleged, the material was in conflict with the Wagering Code of the Australian Association of National Advertisers Code of Ethics.
This states “Advertising or Marketing Communication for a Wagering Product or Service must not portray, condone or encourage excessive participation in wagering activities”.
Tabcorp responded by claiming that the material is not a depiction of a problem gambler concealing his gambling from his family, and does not glamorize gambling.
Whilst the Board agreed that the ad did not depict the man lying about his activities on the trip, it ultimately ruled the advertisement infringed the Code of Ethics because it portrayed excessive participation in wagering activities.
Tabcorp has ceased broadcasting the ad until the issue is resolved.