ASA Uphold Complaint against Profit Accumulator Ltd
The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint against Profit Accumulator Ltd.
Concerns were raised regarding both “A paid-for Facebook post and a website for casino bonus hunting service Bonus Accumulator” which were seen in June 2020.
“The complainant challenged whether the claims:
1. ‘This is my 45th day of isolation … this money is so welcome as I haven’t earned anything in six weeks …’ in ad (a) was socially irresponsible because it suggested that casino bonus hunting could be a way to achieve financial security;
2. ‘It is almost statistically certain that you will make a profit if you do enough offers’ in ad (a) and ‘casino bonuses are not gambling because just like matched betting, we give you an edge that allows you to beat the bookies…’ in ad (b) were socially irresponsible; and
3. ‘It is almost statistically certain that you will make a profit’ in ad (a) was misleading and could be substantiated.”
The ASA ruled that “The ads must not appear again in the form complained about. We told Profit Accumulator Ltd t/a Bonus Accumulator to ensure that future marketing communications did not present gambling as an alternative to employment or a way to achieve financial security, and to ensure future marketing communications did not irresponsibly downplay the risk involved in gambling. We also told Bonus Accumulator to ensure their marketing communications did not claim consumers were certain to make a profit.”
Of note are their concerns about how “The ad was seen in the context of widespread news coverage of a developing major outbreak of novel coronavirus 2019-nCov, or COVID-19 (coronavirus).”
They questioned whether the ad “would have been interpreted by consumers to mean that the gambling system offered by the advertiser could be used as an alternative to employment and a way to achieve financial security for those who had lost earnings as a result of the coronavirus.”
These ads breached the CAP Code (rule 1.3) – that by downplaying the risks involved in gambling they were not abiding by the rules for social responsibility, something particularly important when consumers may be considering alternative sources of income at a desperate time.