Hills fall foul of ASA once more

UK bookie, William Hill, has recently been reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority for failing to guarantee advertised odds.

The advertising watchdog received a complaint about two press ads which were promoting odds for the Aintree Hurdle and the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The Cheltenham Cup ad’s headline stated 6/1 odds on Sir Des Champs to win, followed by a full list of race runners and footnotes stating that the prices quoted were subject to fluctuation but were correct as of 5pm the previous day. Likewise, the Aintree ad’s headline stated 4/1 odds on The New One to win, along with a full list of runners and the same footnotes as the other advert.

The complainant asked the ASA to investigate whether the two headlines were misleading as he understood that the odds that were quoted were only available for a very limited time.

While the Authority appreciated that William Hill could not update the ads to reflect changes to the market (due to non-runners, etc.), they ruled that most readers would not understand when the promoted odds would be (or had been) available and that Hills could not guarantee they would be available on the day the ads were published as they would have been affected by people placing bets the preceding evening. The ASA therefore ruled that both ads breached several CAP codes, and must not appear again in their current form.

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