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Sky Vegas TV Commercial Banned By ASA


8 Jul 2016

On Wednesday 29th June the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) posted a ruling against Bonne Terre Ltd, t/a Sky Vegas.

Following a single complaint about one of the Sky Vegas TV commercials, the advert came under the scrutiny of the ASA resulting in it being banned from being shown in the current format.

Sky Vegas Advert

The advert that caused offence, and breached BCAP Code 17.3.6 (Advertisments must not suggest that gambling can enhance personal qualities; for example, that it can improve self-image or self-esteem, or is a way to gain control, superiority, recognition or admiration), was one of a set of commercials that featured a face in sunglasses close to the camera whilst a husky voiceover told of what they were doing before playing at Sky Vegas.

The one that was complained about featured Michael whom they described as a ‘roulette rock star’. Below we have included the YouTube clip below, please note that as the advert has now been banned, it may become unavailable at any point.

Sky Vegas Response

In response to the complaint the company explained that the brief to the marketing agency, and ultimately the intention of the commercial, was to show that players at the site had fun.

They also said that during the pre-clearance process, Clearcast had suggested that the term ‘roulette rock star’ could breach the BCAP code 17.3.6. Sky Vegas took this onboard and emphasised the sunglasses and guitars to enhance the term rock star.

The full response can be read at the ASA website here.

ASA Ruling

At the start of the advert that ASA noted that Michael had a neutral expression on his face whilst the voiceover told of how he had just completed a household chore of putting the recycling out.

It was then explained that Michael had finished the chore and was now gambling at Sky Vegas, at which point the expression on his face changed to a satisfied smile.

It is this that implied a change in Michael and as such, glamorised gambling leading to a breach of BCAP code 17.3.6.