In the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled against Spreadex Limited and an advert for its ShortsAndLongs.com online financial spreadbetting service that appeared in financial newspaper City AM.
The ad showed a man sitting between two good-looking women with a headline that read ‘We believe all traders deserve privileges… which is why we offer: Free guaranteed stops’. The advert also stated ‘And that's not the only privilege you'll find at ShortsAndLongs.com… They're just business as usual, just a small part of our commitment to make spreadbetting more rewarding’.
The ASA revealed that it received one complaint objecting on the grounds that the ad was irresponsible and glamorised gambling because it referred to gamblers as ‘traders’ and implied that gambling made men more attractive to women.
In its defence, Spreadex stated that its ShortsAndLongs.com service, which allows clients to place trades while being aware of what their maximum exposure might be, was highly responsible, especially in light of present market volatility. It did not agree that the ad implied that gambling made men more attractive to women and pointed out that their transactions were not referred to as 'bets' because they are contracts for difference.
However, while the ASA upheld Spreadex’ opinion on the use of the word ‘traders’, it ruled that the ad did breach the CAP Code because it linked gambling with sex. As a result, the ASA stated that the advert must not appear again in its current form.
“We noted the women were touching the man's arms intimately and considered that readers were likely to infer from the ad that one of the ‘rewards’ of success with spreadbetting was enhanced attractiveness and increased sexual success with the opposite sex,” read the ASA’s ruling.
“We concluded that the ad irresponsibly linked gambling with sexual success and enhanced attractiveness.”