After asking Bet365 to response to the complaint, the ASA was told by the operator that UK players were used to the standard industry terminology referred to as ‘free bets’ and were aware that these kinds of offers usually had conditions associated with them. Following a previous ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority, they had already added the text ‘Terms and Conditions Apply” to the banner advert, as well as ensuring that the same wording, along with a hyperlink, was including on the landing page that the consumer would arrive on after clicking the ad. The operator said that due to limited space in the banner ad, they had taken measures to include as much detail about the T’s and C’s in the advert as possible, and directed viewers to an easily-accessible alternative source where the full conditions were prominently stated.
After assessing Bet365’s response, the ASA decided that the terms and conditions surrounding the advertised “Free Bets” was significant and were likely to affect whether a consumer would sign-up to the site or not. They also determined that although the full terms and conditions could be clicked through to from the advert, they should have been more prominently displayed and no less than one mouse-click away from the advert itself. They therefore ruled that the advert was misleading (breaching CAP code rules 3.1, 3.3, 3.9, 3.23, and 8.18 regarding Misleading Advertising, Qualification, Free, and Significant Conditions for Promotions) and must not appear again in its current form.