ASA rules against Midnite Facebook ad
The UK Advertising Standards Authority has banned a Midnite Facebook advert that may have encouraged problem gambling.
The ad, seen on 18 September 2021, for Midnite eSports betting, a gambling service, included the text “Top tier eSports for UK games … Crazy odds Huge Wins Blitz payouts”. Below that, the ad included an image of a tweet which stated “I’m so hooked on CS:GO bets rn I’ve been making the craaaaaziest calls”.
The complainant, who believed that the ad encouraged problem gambling behaviour, challenged whether the ad was irresponsible.
Dribble Media Ltd responded that the ad was created by a third-party company that had not complied with their policies for social media ads. They said that the ad had been removed and that they would no longer work with the third party.
The ASA considered that references in the ad to “hooked on CS:GO bets” portrayed an addiction to gambling in a positive light and therefore condoned and encouraged problem gambling behaviours. We also considered the claim “making the craaaaaziest [sic] calls” presented in a positive light betting recklessly and therefore in a manner that could lead to financial, social or emotional harm. Taken together, we considered that the overall impression of the ad was to condone and encourage betting in ways that could be financially, socially or emotionally harmful.
We acknowledged that the ad was created by a third-party company, and that Dribble Media had told us that the ad was not in keeping with their policies. However, Dribble Media were responsible for their advertising.
Because we considered that the ad condoned and encouraged betting in ways that could be financially, socially or emotionally harmful, by associating it with problem gambling, we concluded that the ad was irresponsible.