In January of this year, William Hill aired a television commercial promoting their High Five offer. On 31st May 2017, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a single complaint about the advert.
The commercial featured horseracing and the voiceover told the viewer that
One in three jumps races last season were won by five or more lengths. Bet on any jumps race on a Friday or a Saturday.
If the race is won by five or more lengths and you back the winner, you get a 25% free bet bonus on your winnings. If your horse finishes second you get your money back as a free bet.
High Five from William Hill. Online, on mobile and in our shops.
The one complaint that was received by the ASA concerned placing a bet in a bookies.
They understood that if bets were placed in a shop, the offer was only applied to bets placed at the starting price rather than the current price. It was this that led to the complaint as it was felt the ad was misleading because these terms and conditions were significant, yet not included in the advert.
William Hill responded with an explanation of how there were two parts to the promotion and that in betting shops, the restrictions were made clear on all the material. Promotional material was clearly displayed in window posters and via digital media.
Clearcast has requested that all material showed the words ‘T&C’s apply’ and felt that this was sufficient to inform customers that there were other restrictions to the offer.
This was not how the ASA felt, their assessment of the William Hill advert can be read here, but in summary they found that the ad breached three BCAP codes
Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
Advertisements must not mislead consumers by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.
Material information is information that consumers need in context to make informed decisions about whether or how to buy a product or service. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead consumers depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the advertisement is constrained by time or space, the measures that the advertiser takes to make that information available to consumers by other means.
Advertisements must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims that they qualify.