William Hill rapped for linking gambling to seduction

William Hill: gambling firm's ad falls foul of the ASA
William Hill: gambling firm's ad falls foul of the ASA

William Hill has been reprimanded by the advertising watchdog for breaching ad regulations that prevent gambling being linked to seduction.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned the ad after ruling a lingering shot of the croupier’s eyes, a focus on the "sensual areas" of a woman’s body and the style of the woman’s outfit explicitly linked gambling to seduction.

William Hill defended the ad, created by Beatty McGuiness Bungay (BMB), by claiming it recreated its 'Live Casino' online product, which attempts to match the experience a gambler would find in a Mayfair casino.

The gambling firm also stated that all the actors were over 25 and said the clothing worn by the male and female dealers were the actual uniforms worn by croupiers in its live casino.

Creative managed to win approval from Clearcast, the broadcast advertising clearance body, prior to airing because it believed that because the ad did not show anyone gambling there could be no link to seduction, sexual success or enhanced attractiveness.

However, the ASA sided with the complaint made by The Gambling Reform and Society Perception Group (GRASP) after deciding there was no suitable justification for using the basque-style tops in the ad or showing "sensual areas" of the actor’s body. 

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