ASA bans Coral TV ad

Business News

A TV ad for Coral, seen on 16 April 2017, featured several stylised clips of footballers playing football, including successfully taking risks and out-manoeuvring and out-playing defending footballers, against the background of a dramatic soundtrack.

The voice-over stated, “The beautiful game you can watch it or you can get involved in it with the latest Coral action. So are you a spectator or are you a player? You decide. Coral. Get in on the action.”

Two complainants challenged whether the ad was harmful and irresponsible because they believed the voiceover implied only gamblers were true ‘players’ and that gambling was better than watching the sport.

The ASA considered that the overall tone of the ad implied that gambling was more exciting than being a spectator.

The ASA noted the view that the voice-over was not pushy or aggressively promoting the gambling element and that it was matter of fact in its presentation. However, we considered the emphasis given to the term “player” in the voice-over, which we understood was a colloquialism referring to a successful person, contributed to the overall impression that gambling could lead to personal success and enhance personal qualities.

Also considered the stylised shots of the footballers implied that the gambler was equivalent to the successful player. Further, the phrase “Get in on the action” reinforced the impression that it was better to gamble than merely spectate and/or that gambling was a better alternative to watching the match, implying those who gambled were more involved or invested or had a stake in in the game and in doing so disparaged those who were not.

The ASA concluded the ad was likely to suggest peer pressure to gamble, disparage abstention and suggest that gambling could enhance personal qualities and therefore breached the Code.