ASA strikes down Postcode Lottery ad
The violating advertisement was found in a Daily Mail publication at the beginning of July, showcasing a picture of a couple with a bit of text above them stating that they had to postpone wedding plans, for which they had already made a deposit, as one of the people lost their job. This was followed by another picture of the couple below, this time portrayed in a happier mood, with more text between the two pictures stating that the couple’s wedding plans could resume after winning a bit over 62 thousand pounds through the Postcode Lottery.
The complaint brought upon this advertisement challenged whether it implied that gambling could be a way to solve financial hardship. When approached by the ASA about the issue, the operator stated that it did not believe the ad would imply that the portrayed couple was having financial issues, as they were pictured in front of a house to imply that they could afford basic necessities. The company mentioned that the ad did not portray gambling as a replacement for a job, and stated that a wedding was chosen as its main focus because it is a popular example of a sizable discretionary purchase.
However, the ASA decided to uphold the complaint, taking down the advertisement. The authority stated that not being able to afford a large expense like a wedding after making a deposit would be considered a financial hardship. The ASA added that the way the couple was portrayed in the advertisement as stressed about the situation further solidifies this assessment, which could cause the ad to drive lottery players to gamble irresponsibly.