by Renee Israel
NetPlay TV, the UK based gambling operator, expressed its strong
disappointment over a recent ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority
(ASA), to remove a television advert for its SuperCasino.com brand.
Only one customer, as well as the Gambling Reform and Society Perception
Group (GRASP), took offence to the ad, which was enough for the ASA to
investigate, ultimately finding that the SuperCasino.com ad "glamourised"
The ad depicts a man, casino chip in hand, walking down the street with a
male friend. After greeting a pretty woman, they hand the casino chip to a
doorman and enter a building.
Walking through the casino, the two pass a roulette table before they are
joined by another woman, who shares a fleeting look with the first man.
Ad Intended to Promote Social Gambling
The watchdog advertising group took offence to the ad on several levels. It
didn't like the flirty look exchanged between the man and woman, nor did it like
the casino chip handed to the doorman.
These, coupled with the lyrics of the ad's soundtrack, "Everybody wanna be
famous... Las Vegas, VIP status.", made ASA rule that the ad sent out messages
of exclusivity and linked gambling with social recognition and attractiveness.
NetPlay argued that the ad showed nothing sexual or provocative and all the
characters used were clearly over the age of 25, as required by the code on
According to NetPlay, SuperCasino's ad was intended to promote social
gambling, compared to lone gambling, which is why a group of people was used in
NetPlay Defends SuperCasino Ad
NetPlay was clearly disappointed with the ruling that its SuperCasino.com ad
needed to be removed from the air immediately, saying that it took its
responsibilities as an advertiser extremely seriously and that all promotional
material for TV was subject to strict in-house compliance procedure before being
passed on to Clearcast for formal approval.
"Clearcast made it clear during this process that they did not feel the ad
showed any flirty or sexual success and that nothing in the ad implied that the
characters' personal qualities had been enhanced by gambling," said the group
after ASA banned the NetPlay TV ad.
"It was clear to them, and ourselves, that the characters in the ad simply
entered a casino as a group of friends and nothing of their self image or self
esteem was improved by this experience and so could not be held in breach of the