ASA bans bingo scratchcard ad

Following complaints by the Bingo Association, the ASA has banned a TV ad run by Camelot, operators of the National Lottery. The ad for the company’s new ‘Flamin’ Hot Bingo’ scratchcards depicted a woman driving a mobility scooter past a drab bingo hall with a ‘closed’ sign and padlock on the gates. The woman was heard to tut as she drove past.

The Bingo Association objected to the ad, arguing that it implied that it was ‘misleading and denigratory’, implying that the bingo clubs are a ‘dying’ industry. Despite Camelot’s assertion that the ad simply meant to depict the bingo hall being closed in the early morning, rather than completely closed down, the ASA concluded that such a context was not made clear. Instead, they believed that the presence of padlock and chains on the door, alongside the closed sign and the drab appearance of the bingo hall, gave the impression that the club was closed permanently. As such, the ASA agreed with the Bingo Association’s view that the ad was ‘misleading and denigrated the bingo industry’, and ruled that it should not be shown again.