It is not uncommon for gambling companies based in the United Kingdom to get into a little hot water over gambling advertisements. The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is tough and often times finds fault in advertising, be it online, in print, radio or televised form. When a problem arises, the operator will get into trouble, often times asked to remove the advertisement and sometimes pay a fine. The most recent instance of this taking place in the UK involves both 888 and Ladbrokes as well as Sky Vegas and Casumo.
The ASA is the independent regulatory for advertising and it is their job to review the advertising that is presented by gaming operators. It seems that these operators have been accused of using online advertisements that are disguised as fake news. As of right now, it does not seem as though there will be any punishment for the advertising.
The advertisements were placed on websites that no longer exist and were seen in March as well as June. The ads were labeled as advertorials which means that they were an editorial piece that was paid for by the advertiser. Basically, the ads appeared as news items.
Readers would click on the headline, in one instance where it said that on a wedding night a secret was revealed that the wife was not ready for. Click baiting with such a headline then brought readers to the story of an individual named William who reportedly won a large amount of money while gambling online which helped him get out of debt, the debt being the secret he kept from his bride.
The ASA were not happy with the ‘fake news’ and even found the stories had fake reader comments with individuals stating they had done well by gambling at the site. Complaints were filed with the ASA by consumers and the gambling operators stated the ads were created by affiliates and they would never have created such ads. This was stated after an investigation into the matter by the ASA.
Advertisements are not allowed to suggest that gambling will provide an escape from problems an individual has like financial issues or depression. The gambling brands were reprimanded and they were told not to run the ads again and any future ads created by affiliates should not contain such content.