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ASA Receive Multiple Complaints About British Airways Ad


11 Jan 2019

You might be wondering where the link between British Airways and online casinos is because the two don’t usually go together. However, a recent commercial for the well-known airline has come underfire because some MPs believe that it glamorises gambling.

Although we have not seen the commercial, it is reported to show a couple winning money on a slot machine whilst on their holiday. The couple are returning from the pool through what appears to be the hotel casino.

They are heard to say ‘We had a bit of spare change so we put it in the slot machines, and won a couple of dollars. So we put it back in and the next thing we knew we’d won $493. Luckiest dip ever!

MPs Up In Arms Over British Airways Advert

The former Conservative leader, Ian Duncan Smith, was said to have been stunned by the commercial and would be discussing it with colleagues immediately.

A selection of MPs are expected to contact British Airways expressing their disgust and shock at the company for glamorising gambling.

But does it really? Or is the advert just one of several around at the moment that are focusing on the memories that are made on holiday and how important they are?

Whilst of course we appreciate that advertising should stick to the rules set out by the Advertising Standards Authority, all too often the complaints that are being made are by a very minimal number of people. The reason for this is simple – not too many people are snowflakes*!

See the whole advert, the storyline, not just a snippet that suits a battle you’ve chosen to fight. Would the MPs be as up in arms had the couple purchased a lottery ticket and won big or played a game of bingo?

Awaiting The ASA Ruling

What we are waiting for now is the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) publishing their ruling following several complaints about the British Airways advert.

We’re hoping that the ruling is in the favour of British Airways and that the complaints are not upheld. However, whatever decision is made by the ASA, British Airways have already withdrawn the commercial.

*Snowflakes  – a term that started to be used in around 2016 and describes someone who is overly sensitive, and who thinks the world revolves around him or her.

It was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in January 2018 and the definition is listed as ‘An overly sensitive or easily offended person, or one who believes they are entitled to special treatment on account of their supposedly unique characteristics.