Ladbrokes Slams Advertising WatchdogPublished January 11, 2009 by OCR Editor
Humorous advertising campaign banned after complaint that it encourages reckless behavior.
Onine bookmaker and casino Ladbrokes has slammed the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), following the latter's decision to ban a recent advertising campaign for Ladbrokescasino.com
The advertising watchdog banned the humorous ads after receiving just one public complaint, in which it was claimed the ads linked gambling to risk-taking and reckless behavior.
The two ads, created by M & C Saatchi, featured two fictional thrill-seekers who end up paying with their lives after taking one risk too many. The ads then end with the slogan "Ladbrokescasino.com: Quench your thrill buds."
In one of the ads, narrator Williem Snyman talks about a shark-diving student of his who dived into shark-infested waters in a seal costume with raw bacon and sausages tied to his wetsuit.
"All we could bury was his flipper," Snyman laments.
Ladbrokes is appealing to the Independent Reviewer for ASA Adjudications to overturn the decision.
A Ladbrokes spokesperson said the ads were deliberately ridiculous, and that in contrast to the allegations, the nature of the stories "actively encouraged caution and moderation over extreme behavior and recklessness."
"Ladbrokes fully supports the code of practice relating to gambling advertising but this ruling is an example of political correctness going too far," said the Managing Director of Ladbrokes' remote betting and gaming operation, John O'Reilly.
In April 2008, Paddy Power and InterCasino were the first gambling companies to fall foul of the 2005 Gambling Act, both having advertising campaigns banned by the ASA.