With most of the rulings that we see from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) being quite retrospective, at least three or four months at a minimum, it’s no surprise to find that William Hill are still finding themselves the wrong side the BCAP and CAP codes.
Some might say that considering the recent fine of £6.2 million you’d expect William Hill to be squeaky clean when it comes to compliance and regulations.
To be fair on William Hill though, this was an advert that aired in September 2017 BUT even back then, there advert should not have breached two BCAP codes.
The Offending William Hill TV Advert
Seen on the 15 September 2017, the advert was promoting flat race betting.
The voice over in the advert stated
Get a 15% free bet bonus on your winnings with ‘2 Clear’ from William Hill, 30% of flat races last season were won by two lengths or more. Bet on any live ITV flat race and if your horse wins by 2 lengths or more you’ll get a 15% free bet bonus on your winnings. Introducing ‘2 Clear’ from William Hill. Available on all live ITV flat races. Online, on mobile and in our shop.
The words ‘free bet bonus’ and ‘Live ITV Flat Races’ were shown on screen whenever mentioned by the voice over. There was also small text that read
Selected UK flat races. 6+ runners
The complainant felt that a condition of the offer was not made sufficiently clear. The condition was that the promotion only applied to horse races where there were at least six runners.
The company defended the commercial in a full response that can be read on the ruling page at the ASA website here.
The ASA Ruling Against William Hill
The ASA took on board the response from William Hill but still found that the advert breached two BCAP codes. These were:
Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
Advertisements must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims that they qualify.