William Hill's Gambling Ad Banned

Published: July 9, 2013

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Recently, a television ad developed by William Hill Casino to promote their live casino feature was banned from reaching the public by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA). The ad was accused of irresponsibly linking gambling to seduction, which involves a breach of the code the agency operates under.

In the commercial, the camera follows the dealer's eyes down to her chest and into a roulette wheel. She then pushes the chips forward towards the screen, and a shot of a card game and the rest of the live dealers as a voice states "Experience a live casino like no other."

The ASA stated that they noted that they considered the focus on the woman's eyes as she looked directly into the camera was used to engage the viewer and could be interpreted as a signal of attraction. They followed by saying that the camera's glance into the woman's cleavage region enhanced the sense of seduction, which was also maintained by the uniforms worn by the female dealers. “Because the ad opened with an engaging shot of the croupier's eyes, showed sensual areas of the women's body and because of the style of outfit worn, we concluded the ad linked gambling to seduction, which was a breach of the Code."

William Hill Casino defended itself by claiming that the ad never suggested that gambling could enhance the viewer's sexual success or increase their attractiveness, and that it was never meant to be aired before 9pm. However, the ASA banned the ad from airing again in its current form.

The ad was created by Beatty McGuiness Bungay (BMB), and before airing it was approved by Clearcast, the broadcast advertising clearance body, and their opinion was that since no one is gambling in the commercial there could be no link between sexual success and enhanced attractiveness to gambling in it. A lot of William Hill enthusiasts have claimed that the ad was not inappropriate and the ASA emitted an unfair judgment on it. You can see the ad through this link: Clcik here and decide for yourself. Did William Hill's ad cross too many lines? What is your opinion on this whole case?


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