It’s a popular misconception that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) only regulate television adverts and marketing that appears in the public eye such as billboards, and in newspapers. This is not the case, they are an independent regulatory body that ‘police’ marketing across all media.
The most recent gambling company to come under scrutiny by the ASA is Slotser, a little-known online casino and it would appear that the company who own and market the brand, Ever Adventure IOM Ltd, aren’t taking a ruling by the ASA very seriously!
There was only one actual complaint received by the ASA about Slotser but when reading through what the complainant had an issue with and then visiting the Slotser site, it is easy to see that the point made was very valid.
The complainant challenged if the Slotser site had particular appeal to young people and children as the home page design features quite an array of cartoony characters. Particular attention was paid to Fluffy Favourites, Farmania and Piggy Payout.
The complaint meant that the ASA had to investigate and as such, they looked at two specific sections of the CAP Code, both of which address the issue of marketing appealing to children, young people or those that are vulnerable.
Marketing communications for gambling must be socially responsible, with particular regard to the need to protect children, young persons and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited.
Marketing communications must not:
be likely to be of particular appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture
Having read through the response given to the ASA by Slotser, it just reads as though it is everyone else’s fault but their own. They reference having not marketed their brand and being shocked that someone even found their site because it doesn’t rank in Google!
That has no relevance to the site design in any way, shape or form. In the same way in which someone reaches the site bears no relevance on the appeal to someone under the age of 18 but it was the crux of their response.
Needless to say the ASA could clearly see that the overall design and the use of cartoon style images certainly looked to appeal to those under the legal age to gamble in the UK and as such, upheld the complaint.
For Slotser this meant that the site must not continue to appear in its current form. However, we are now several days after the ruling and Slotser still looks the same. There has been no change in the design. Is this a middle finger to the Advertising Standards Authority?