Boylesports Banned Ads ASA

Boylesports 'nailed on bonus' Easter crucifixion ad banned by ASA


By Rebecca Stewart, Trends Editor

May 18, 2016 | 3 min read

An Easter campaign from betting shop Boylesports has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for for depicting an image of a crucifixion.


The watchdog said the Irish bookmaker's email promotion, which was received by customers the day before Easter Sunday, was likely to cause "serious offence".

The ad in question, which can be seen above, showed a bloodied hand nailed to a plank of wood, with an accompanying strapline which read: "Boylesports Gaming - nailed on bonus".

The text in the email continued: "In memory of the dearly departed JC, we are offering you a sacrilecious [sic] bonus this Easter weekend... So don't just sit there gorging your own body weight in chocolate, that's disrespectful. Get on Boylesports Gaming and get your nailed on bonus."

One customer complained to the regulator that the ad sought out to mock Christianity at a significant time of its religious year.

While Boylesports conceded that the image represented a crucifixion, the gaming company said it only showed a hand and didn't contain any religious symbolism. It added that elements from the campaign had been absorbed into everyday culture, citing examples from film, music and language use.

However, the ASA upheld the complaint that the text and pictures used, coupled with the timing gave the impression that the promotion was in referring to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in particular.

"We considered the offence was likely to be particularly strongly felt by those of the Christian faith at Easter, when the imagery would have a particularly strong resonance.

"We considered that the ad was likely to cause serious offence and concluded that it was therefore in breach of the Code," concluded the watchdog.

The ad must not appear again in its current form.

Boylesports Banned Ads ASA

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