ASA Cracks Down on Danish Bingo Operator’s Marketing Tactics

The UK’s steadfast defender of advertising ethics, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), has just used its regulatory gavel to chastise Happytiger ApS. The investigation stemmed from claims that the gaming operator unlawfully used a person under 25 for marketing purposes.

One single complaint that echoed the strict requirements of the BCAP Code highlighted the ASA’s investigation. These regulations prohibit gambling commercials from showing anyone who are, or even seem to be, under 25 years old partaking in gambling activities or actively participating in gambling marketing campaigns.

Happytiger ApS, which is regulated and licensed by the Gambling Commission in the United Kingdom, was given the go-ahead by the ASA to show a bingo TV commercial in October and November of 2023.

The person on display, who was identified as a “POSTGRADUATE STUDENT,” praised Happy Tiger and emphasized how thrilling the bingo games were. The ASA, however, did not believe that the person’s age was legitimate.

Age Verification Unveiled, Yet Doubts Linger

Happytiger ApS quickly replied, providing verifiable proof of the person’s birthdate and attesting to the fact that he was, in fact, 25 years old at the time the TV commercial was made. The individual’s “youthful appearance” and some linguistic features, notably his frequent use of phrases like “like,” “obviously,” and “so yeah,” the ASA claimed, would mislead viewers into believing he is younger than 25.

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The term “postgraduate student” incited criticism even more. The ASA said that the on-screen language implied the person was in his early twenties, given the average age range of UK students starting their bachelor’s degrees.

Clearcast, the non-governmental organization tasked with pre-approving most British television ads, corroborated the age verification. However, they acknowledged the potential ambiguity arising from the on-screen text hinting at the individual’s student status.

The ASA determined that the bingo advertisement violated BCAP Code rule 17.4.6 (Gambling) even though Clearcast had endorsed it. As a result, the regulatory authority mandated that Happytiger ApS stop airing the advertisement in its current format and forbade the company from showcasing any person who seemed to be younger than 25.

This episode adds a new chapter to the advertising industry’s regulatory environment in the UK by highlighting the ASA’s rigorous oversight in maintaining ethical standards. The decision against Happytiger ApS is consistent with a larger dedication to guaranteeing that advertising complies with all applicable legal and ethical requirements.

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Concurrently, the ASA maintained its decision against Betfred at the end of December, highlighting the unwavering nature of regulatory supervision in the field of ad placement.

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