UK National Lottery advert has been bannedSunday September 6th 2009
After a member of public complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), a UK National Lottery advert has been banned. The advert, which included an excuse generator also gave humorous excuses not to play the lottery such as, “I got abducted by aliens”, had been sent to people who have an online lottery account.
It was initially intended as a light hearted attempt to encourage account holders to purchase their lottery tickets online.
The person that complained felt that the UK National Lottery email advert implied that gambling was indispensable and encouraged people to gamble excessively. Camelot naturally defended the accusation, saying that the advert was humorous and that the excuses used in the advert were not gambling related.
ASA found in favour of Camelot on the 1st point, as the National Lottery advert did not state there would not be a serious consequence by not playing. The second part of the complaint was upheld because of the following excerpt, “the more you play the more likely you are to win”. ASA ruled that this gave the lottery player the impression that they would win more if they played more often. ASA therefore ruled that it was a breach of Cap Code 2.2 for Social Responsibility and the lottery advert was banned.
So it seems that a lottery advert that was originally intended to encourage players to buy lottery tickets and play online, failed to point to what it was originally intended, and only caused offence as it was deemed to promote irresponsible gambling.