Fabulous Bingo are one of many brands on the Internet that choose television commercials as a form of advertising, but this brand have recently had their virtual wrists slapped by the Advertising Standards Agency over a 20 second commercial. The advert featured two young ladies sat in a café with one looking far from attractive. The other, slightly more pleasing on the eye, enquires as to what the other is doing to be told that she is registering with Fabulous Bingo online and claiming the impressive 200% first deposit bonus.
This is met with a rather disinterested look before there is an explosion of bingo balls and the less attractive of the two ladies is instantly transformed into a beauty and here lies the issues that the Gambling Reform and Society Perception Group (GRASP) had with the commercial. There was just one complaint received by the ASA but this is enough to lead to an investigation.
GRASP felt that the commercial “linked gambling to seduction, sexual success and enhanced attractiveness” and this contravenes BCAP code 17.3.6 17.3.7 as quoted below:
17.3 Advertisement’s must not:
17.3.6 - suggest that gambling can enhance personal qualities; for example, that it can improve self-image or self-esteem, or is a way to gain control, superiority, recognition or admiration
17.3.7 - link gambling to seduction, sexual success or enhanced attractiveness
Whilst News Promotions Ltd (T/A Fabulous Bingo) did try and defend their advert the complaint was upheld and the Action from the ASA means that the advert cannot appear again in its current form. Back to the drawing board for the marketing team at this brand then.
One of the questions that should be asked is, if one complaint is really enough to warrant the ASA investigating; because whilst it is clear where the advert contravenes the codes set out, surely more assessment of the viewers opinion should be looked at. Would the advert for Fabulous Bingo really make you want to register and play with the brand simply because upon signing up the rather dowdy looking lady suddenly became better looking? For the most part viewers of the commercial would see it for what it is, a bit of clever marketing, whilst not actually believing that by registering for Fabulous Bingo they would become an instant goddess who looks to have just appeared from a photo shoot.
Surely the viewing public should be credited with some common sense?