ASA bans “misleading” and “irresponsible” betting system ad
The UK’s advertising standards authority has upheld three complaints against a website advertising a system for online casino bets, two for misleading and unsubstantiated claims and one for advertising gambling irresponsibly.
The website, MakeLifeIncome.com, owned by tipster Paul Coleman, featured text including the statements: “I’ll Teach You How To Make £50-£100 or more a Day”; “No Work…No Hassle…No Risk”; “make £60 in the first hour” and “a system that’s guaranteed to pay” among other claims suggesting the system advertised could be a substitute normal income and was risk-free.
In addition, tet on the site said the system “takes advantage of a glitch in the way online casinos work”, that it was unique and that it only applied to online casino games.
A complainant challenged the ad on three grounds.The first claim was that the claims the system was “no-risk” and the profits mentioned were misleading and unsubstantiated, while the second argued that claims the system was unique, developed by Coleman and would only work in online casinos were also misleading and unsubstantiated.
A third claim argued the ad was socially irresponsible because it suggested gambling could replace traditional sources of income.
In response, Coleman said the ad was “designed to generate interest in an opportunity to make money from roulette and was based on his experience of using a system that he had developed”.
In addition, Coleman said that “most of the feedback he received” from clients said that they had earned money by using his system. In addition, he said that he “could not be responsible” for clients who did not follow the rules correctly.
Coleman added that the web page featuring the ad would be removed and the system would no longer be on sale. The website in question continues to advertise Coleman’s tipster services for horse racing and football on its other pages.
The ASA upheld all three complaints. On the complaint regarding guaranteed profits, it said Coleman “had not provided any evidence to demonstrate that any users of the system had been successful and achieved profits”.
“We concluded that the claims for the system's success and profitability had not been substantiated and were therefore misleading,” it said.
On the claim that the system was unique, the ASA said Coleman “had not provided any evidence to demonstrate how his system worked, how it differed from other gambling systems or how the method was exclusively designed for non-traditional casinos”. As such it ruled this claim to be misleading as well.
When it came to the claim that the ad promoted irresponsible behaviour, the ASA pointed to the CAP code, which says advertisers must not suggest that gambling can be a solution to financial concerns, an alternative to employment or a way to achieve financial security.
The ASA highlighted claims such as those using the system being able to escape the “rat race”, or being able to quit “tedious and irritating” jobs as being liable to be interpreted as the gambling system acting as alternative to employment and a way to achieve financial security.
“We concluded that the ad promoted a gambling service as an alternative to employment and a way to achieve financial security, and was therefore socially irresponsible,” the ASA added.
As a result, the ad must not appear again in its current form, and Coleman was warned that he must produce evidence to support claims that his system was risk-free or that it was a new system, as well as that he must not promote gambling as an alternative to employment or a path to financial security.