The advertisement which appeared on the front page of the newspaper featured an image of a Santa sack with two hurleys sticking out the top. A sliotar and a helmet lay on the ground beside the sack. The text accompanying the imagery referred to the following:
“MONEY BACK AS A FREE BET ON LIMERICK V WATERFORD IF EITHER TEAM WIN BY A POINT.
PADDY’S WEEK-LONG SESSION 12-19TH DECEMBER.
A monster rollover of betting specials, just for Ireland! PADDYPOWER
Need help? Contact GAMBLINGCARE.ie 18+”
The advertisement featuring a male voiceover referred to the following:
“It’s Paddy’s week-long session on the Paddy Power APP. So we have all those things that Irish people love at a session, like, you know, shamrocks, kilts and céilí dancing and, nah, only codding you, it’s less diddley I and more of what we are really about, quality sport and unbelievable generosity.
A monster 8-day roll-over of specials, exclusively for our customers in Ireland from December 12th to the 19th. Log on to our website or open our App to find out more. Paddy Power 18+ Gamblingcare.ie”.
The complainants, Extern Problem Gambling, challenged the fact that both the newspaper and radio versions of the advertising were in breach of Section 10.10 of the ASAI Code as they had not contained a message to encourage responsible gambling. They pointed out that no such messaging had been included in either advertisement. They said that the phrase 'Need Help?' had not encouraged responsible gambling.
The advertisers said that due to human error in the design of their advertising, a non-compliant version of their responsible gambling (RG message) had appeared and the words ‘Please gamble responsibly’ were missing.
The advertisers provided screenshots of their RG messaging requirements from their training deck for Irish advertising. They said they ran training session on this deck every quarter and refresher reminders were sent out regularly given the volume of marketing communications which they generated.
The advertisers said they had issued a reminder to all relevant marketing personnel of their requirements for RG messages, which must include a message to encourage responsible gambling (‘please gamble responsibly’ or ‘play responsibly’).
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response, including that the issue arose as a result of human error.
The Committee noted the requirement of the Code that advertising for gambling products or services includes a message to encourage responsible gambling and also direct people to a source of information about gambling and gambling responsibly.
The Committee noted that both advertisements had directed consumers to a source of information about gambling and gambling responsibly. While the press advertisement contained the phrase “Need Help?”, the Committee did not consider that this met the responsibility message requirement of the Code. As neither advertisement therefore contained a responsible gambling message, the Committee considered that the advertisement was in breach of Section 10.10 of the Code.
The advertising should not appear in the same format again.