With gambling regulations getting stricter by the day, the list of online gaming companies who fall foul of the Advertising Standards Agency never stop growing. Now it’s Stars Interactive for their brand Poker Stars who are in trouble, in a double ruling from the ASA.
The Advert and Complaints
It’s a television advert for Poker Stars aired back in October that has come under scrutiny by the ASA. The advert included a voiceover that stated “Here you are, the moment when bluffing is the only way to win, you’re freaking out kiddo, but think about all those times you bluffed yourself. Like the pull-up bar waiting for you to get back in-shape, that book you’re definitely going to read, your parents never ever had sex. Use that talent because if you can bluff yourself, you can bluff anyone. Pokerstars, you’re already a great poker player”.
A complainant reported the ad stating that they felt the ad exploited inexperienced poker players by suggesting that they could easily excel at the game and make large winnings. The ASA also challenged whether the ad portrayed gambling in the context of recklessness.
Poker Stars responded to the ad stating that the ad showed just a small friendly game of poker between friends in a relaxed environment, with no money involved. The company also stated that the voiceover only related to one part of the game, and that particular hand and wouldn’t relate to every hand in the game. They also stated that bluffing is an integral part of Poker and even novice players understood that.
Despite the response from Poker Stars, the ASA upheld the complaint after concluding that the wording of the ad was socially irresponsible. The ad cannot be shown again in its current form.