By Sam Bradley, Journalist

September 11, 2018 | 2 min read

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a TV ad for for suggesting that gambling involved skill rather than chance, and investigated two ads for Betfair.

The ad featured a man playing on his tablet while spinning plates at the same time. Other characters watched the man play and took pictures while clapping.

A voiceover said: ‘Ah, the tell-tale signs of a Gala Spins fan. A whirly spin of fun and games, just like the new Britain’s Got Talent Slingo game. Try it now and see if you’ve got the talent. - now that’s Spincredible.”

The ASA said the phrase ‘see if you’ve got the talent’, while meant as a reference to the Britain’s Got Talent-licensed product, was inappropriate in the context of an invitation to gamble. The watchdog said that the wording “implicitly suggested that viewers could exercise a degree of skill or would be able to improve their opportunity to win at a game of chance.”

It concluded that the ad breached Advertising Code rules and told that the ad must not appear in its current form, and that future advertising must not suggest that its gaming products involve a degree of skill.

The ASA looked into Betfair’s ads after receiving complaints that the ads featured an actor who seemed to be under 25 years old. In the ads, a male character walks into a dark room with images of sports and betting activities projected on to the walls. Paddy Power Betfair said that since the character’s clothing “was not associated with youth culture” and he did not behave in an “adolescent, juvenile or loutish way” in the ad, viewers would not assume he was under 25.

The watchdog concluded that the actor’s “smart, muted clothing and stubble” meant that the actor – actually 27 – did not appear to be under 25, and that the ads did not breach the Advertising Code on gambling.

Earlier this year, the ASA took a tough stance against gambling sites targeting children, banning several ads which promoted games in ways designed to appeal to under-18s.

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