The headline of a direct email to Paddy Power customers stated:
“CLOBBERING 50% CASHBACK”
The email continued as follows:
The gloves are off as the titans of Europe take to the field for the final weekend of the Six Nations Tournament.
Think those guys are tough? Well we’ve got a World Class Casino Offer that really packs a punch.
Opt in before midnight, Sunday March 22nd and knuckle down by playing your favourite Casino games. If you get hit hard below the belt (your pocket that is), we’ll credit you with a smashing 50% Cashback on losses come Monday.
Paddy Power Casino Team
SUMMARY – How does it work?
Play any eligible games between 00:00:01 Friday 19th - 23:59:59 Sunday 23rd March and get up to 50% cashback!
Opt in now following these simple steps,
1. Opt in to this promotion by selecting the "opt in" button on this page.
2. Play eligible games as outlined in the "eligible games" tab and at the bottom of this page to meet the required wagering.
3. If you lose you will receive 50% cashback.
Non Slots Cashback Bonus
Min game count 50
Slots Cashback Bonus
Min game count 50”
A link to the terms and conditions was provided at the bottom of the page.
The complainant queried how the advertisers could claim to give ‘50% back on losses’ in the main heading of their advertisement, while stating in the fine print that if customers wagered £/€6,500 they received £/€50 back and likewise if they wagered £/€1,500 they still received £/€50 back. The complainant queried the accuracy of the offer and considered the advertising to be misleading.
The advertisers said that the promotion offered customers who opted in, the opportunity to receive 50% Cashback on losses up to a certain value depending on their customer level. In order to qualify for the promotion customers had to first opt in and then meet certain minimum wagering requirements, depending on their game of choice. They said they had sent the email with the intention of providing a headline of the promotion to their customers. In order to avail of the promotion customers had to click on the “More Info” tab provided in the email which would have brought them to the Promotions page where they had the option to view the terms and conditions (T&Cs), get more information or opt in. If a customer chose to click on the “More Info” tab they were brought to a summary page which outlined the substantive terms and conditions attached to the promotion. The advertisers said that the detailed terms and conditions had also been provided on the Summary page. They therefore considered that customers had been presented with the option to get more extensive details on the promotion at all stages and the wagering requirements and maximum cashback limits had been detailed in their T&Cs. After a customer had chosen to avail of the promotion and clicked “Opt In”, before proceeding further, they had to click a box to confirm that they had read the terms and conditions.
The advertisers said they wished to clarify that while the complainant had considered that the wagering requirements had been attached to the potential value of loses this was not the case. A player did not have to lose £/€6500 or £/€1,500 to avail of the cashback offer. These were specific amounts that players had been required to wager and included monies both deposited and won. The wagering amounts had not been connected to any player losses as the 50% cashback had related to losses only and not wagered amounts.
The advertisers said that the main issue raised by the complainant appeared to be that the maximum cap and wagering requirements attached to the promotion had not been indicated in their email. They said the reason this information had not been displayed was because Casino was a unique product and customers were tiered in accordance with their play, therefore, different limitations applied to different customers and to avoid confusion they had provided the tiered specific limitations in their terms and conditions.
The advertisers said that despite the fact that the minimum wagering requirements and maximum cashback amounts had been referenced in their T&Cs, they should have stated the significant conditions more clearly i.e. that the 50% cashback was only available up to a specified amount and that minimum wagering requirements also applied to the offer. They said they would ensure in future promotions that this information was made available to their customers on the face of their offers and they have updated their staff accordingly in the matter.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that while the headline of the offer had referred to “Clobbering 50% Cashback” and the body of the offer had referenced “50% Cashback on losses” that neither had referenced the fact that cashback was only available up to a specified amount and that minimum wagering requirements were also applicable to the offer. The Committee noted that these requirements had been included in the terms and conditions but reminded the advertisers that it was not sufficient to make a headline offer if it was subsequently meaningfully restricted by their terms and conditions. The Committee upheld the complaint under Sections 2.22, 2.24, 3.12 and 3.16 of the Code.
The Committee noted that the advertisers had agreed to amend their advertising and no further action was required in this case.