Dribble Media rapped over irresponsible esports betting ad
| By Robert Fletcher
The UK’s Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has upheld a complaint against Dribble Media over an advert that appeared on Facebook promoting esports betting on video game title Midnite.
The advert in question, which appeared on 18 September this year, said “Top tier esports for UK games … Crazy odds Huge Wins Blitz pay-outs”, alongside an image of a tweet that said “I’m so hooked on CS:GO bets rn I’ve been making the craaaaaziest [sic] calls”.
A single complainant contacted the ASA saying the advert encouraged problem gambling behaviour and challenged whether the ad was irresponsible.
Dribble Media responded by saying the ad was created by a third-party company that did not comply with its policies for social media ads. Dribble Media added that the advert was removed and said would no longer work with the third party.
In its assessment, the ASA referenced how the CAP Code states marketing communications must not portray, condone or encourage gambling behaviour that is socially irresponsible or could lead to financial, social or emotional harm.
The ASA said references to “hooked on CS:GO bets” portrayed an addiction to gambling in a positive light and therefore condoned and encouraged problem gambling behaviours.
The authority also said that the claim “making the craaaaaziest [sic] calls” presented betting recklessly in a positive light and therefore in a manner that could lead to financial, social or emotional harm.
Considering these two factors, the ASA said the overall impression of the ad was to condone and encourage betting in a way that could be harmful.
The ASA acknowledged the ad was created by a third-party company and that Dribble Media informed the authority that the ad was not in keeping with its policies. However, it said that Dribble Media was still responsible for its advertising.
The ASA added that the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 1.3 related to responsible advertising and 16.3.1 in reference to gambling.
As a result, the ASA told Dribble Media not to portray, condone or encourage gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible or could lead to financial, social or emotional harm in the future.