The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a series of sponsored of ads by online betting site Unibet after viewers complained they were “misleading” and “unclear”.
Two sponsored posts on Facebook news feed, a sponsored Google search result and a web page for a promotion on the betting website, were all investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
The complainants, who understood that customers were required to place further bets at specified odds in order to withdraw funds, challenged whether the wording “risk-free bet”, which appeared in the ads was misleading. They also questioned whether significant conditions of the promotion were made clear.
Unibet explained that "risk free bet" was a term commonly used in the gambling industry for bonuses and said the nature of the offer was explained in “clear and easily comprehensible language” in their bonus terms and conditions.
Referring to the statement, "To withdraw your refunded stake you would have to wager it 6x (e.g. if you receive a £10 bonus, you must wager £60 to fulfil the terms)", Unibet explained that it was not the case that six unique bets were required to be placed as part of the turnover, but rather the subsequent bet placed in and with the turnover must be six times in value of the refunded stake.
The ASA disagreed and said that most consumers would understand the claim “risk free bet” to meant that they would be able to place a first bet of £20 without the risk of loss or significant exclusions. The watchdog continued that the terms and conditions were not presented clearly enough for customers to be able to make an informed decision.
In addition the ASA added that the Google sponsored search result did not specify that terms and conditions would be applicable to the offer and said that most consumers would understand that the offer would not be subject to significant limitations and exclusions.
As a result the ads must not appear again in their current form.