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UK Lottery Rapped On Knuckles for Excessive Ads


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The UK National Lottery has landed itself in hot water with the
country’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for an email-based marketing
campaign that allegedly ‘encouraged people to gamble excessively’. The ASA
reviewed the campaign after receiving complaints from the public.

It found that Camelot, the UK National Lottery’s parent company, had used
misleading language in the email ad campaign which was geared towards
encouraging people to gamble more. The ASA claims that Camelot breached
social responsibility guidelines by light-heartedly encouraging excessive
gambling.

The offending emails were only sent to UK National Lottery fans who opted to
receive them. Many were written in an amusing ‘tongue in cheek’ style. For
instance, one of the email’s read: ‘So unless you’ve been abducted by aliens …
you’ll need a very good excuse for not playing every week – need an excuse?’

But it was the following sentences that attracted the complaints: ‘The more you
play the more likely you are to win’ and ‘Give yourself even more of a chance by
playing multiple lines at once and playing for the Saturday and Wednesday
draws.’ The ASA claimed that the emails also implied that gambling is
indispensable.

In response to being told to stop sending the offending emails, Camelot
responded with this statement: ‘The email campaign was designed to stress some
of the advantages of playing the Lottery interactively and mentioned features
like automated ticket checking, advance play and win notifications.

‘In our opinion it did not encourage excessive play but provided information
that helped recipients decide if they wanted to play Lottery games
interactively.’

Despite the fact that most forms of land and online gambling are legal in the
UK, the country has strict guidelines and measures in place to ensure that
problem gambling and underage gambling are kept to a minimum. It is the job of
‘watchdog’ organizations like the ASA to keep gambling companies honest.

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