Coral advert banned for suggesting betting on sport was better than watching

  • Advertising Standards Authority upholds complaints over Coral advert
  • Ad found to encourage peer pressure and breach code

Coral have seen their latest advertisement banned from television after two complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority were upheld.

A still from the advert.
A still from the advert.

The ad, which focused on football betting, included the words “The beautiful game – you can watch it, or you can get involved in it with the latest Coral action. So are you a spectator or are you a player? You decide. Coral. Get in on the action”, which saw them fall foul of regulations on advertising on gambling in the UK.

A matter of interpretation

The two complainants claimed that the ad implied that only gamblers were ‘true players’, a point of view which Coral rejected.

The bookmaker pointed to the phrase ‘you decide’, saying that the tone was not overly pushy and potential bettors were being given agency and a personal decision to use the site.

However, the ASA disagreed, and in their findings, upheld the complaint. The body stated that the ad was “likely to suggest peer pressure to gamble, disparage abstention and unduly suggest that gambling could enhance personal qualities and therefore breached the Code.”

The decision was partly based on the phrase “Get in on the action”, which the ASA said “reinforced the impression that it was better to gamble than merely spectate” and implied that “those who gambled were more involved or invested in the game, disparaging those who were otherwise not.”

As a result, the ad will no longer be shown on television in the UK. The ASA also included a strong message for Coral to ensure that their ads don’t breach regulations again.

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