Ladbrokes stated that the decision against the commercials for its LadbrokesCasino.com online casino was an incorrect application of the Committee Of Advertising Practice (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code. It stated that the ASA’s judgement, in effect, ruled against using humour in gambling advertisements.
'Ladbrokes fully supports the code of practice relating to gambling advertising but this ruling is an example of political correctness going too far,” said John O'Reilly, Managing Director for Ladbrokes Remote Betting and Gaming.
“We believe the ads are compliant as they are humorous and show people in fantastical situations to which no one would aspire. Consumers know that you cannot jump from a plane using a 30 gram pack of crisps as a parachute.”
The campaign for LadbrokesCasino.com was produced by advertising agency M&C Saatchi and was a finalist at the Cannes International Advertising Awards while winning the Silver Award at the London International Awards. Ladbrokes stated that its marketing teams carefully ensured that the promotion conformed with the relevant codes at every stage of the development process. The firm will have its appeal heard by the Independent Reviewer of ASA Adjudications.
In a funny retort, the Harrow-based company placed an advert with two national tabloid newspapers yesterday mocking the sole person who had originally complained. The print ad featured a photo-fit of a unhappy clown with the headline ‘Missing – a funny bone’.
“We are currently trying to find the one (yes, one) person who took offence, complained and subsequently got the LadbrokesCasino.com TV campaign banned,” read the adverts.
“We bear them no ill will, we just want to give them a big bunch of flowers and a hug to say sorry.”