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Television ad ban for Ladbrokes due to irresponsible gambling

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has pulled one of Ladbroke’s ads off of the air for being irresponsible.


The world of online casinos and the push for responsible gambling is not a new trend. For many years now, regulators and authorities have been forcing gambling companies to protect the public and their players.

However, it seems that Ladbrokes is not ready to play by the rules. The sportsbook and online casino has had one of their television ads pulled from the air – and it’s not the first time.

Ladbrokes’ irresponsible TV ad

The latest ad for the gambling site has been taken down after a single complaint to the ASA drew the attention of the authorities to the content of the advertisement. It has been decided that the ad was depicting “socially irresponsible gambling” in many ways throughout the TV spot.

The ad was seen on air in April 2021 and the following scenes take place:

The ad begins with a man looking up at a football game and then down at his phone. It appears that he is placing bets on the game. The voiceover says: “I’m a nodder: up to the football, down to the app like a dog on a dashboard.”

Next, a scene on a train station takes place where a man makes frustrated kicking motions and draws the glances of his fellow travellers. He is using the Ladbrokes mobile app. The voice-over states: “When I bet, I’m a frustrated manager. I kick every ball.”

Finally, the last scene shows three men watching a football match and cheering. When the goal scored is being reviewed by the video assistant referee (VAR), the three men look very tense. The voice-over says: “If I’ve got an acca [accumulator] coming in, I find myself getting very excited.”

Before the outcome of the goal is decided, one of the men says: “I just want the cheer.” And the other replies: “Not yet.”

The ad ends with the Ladbrokes logo on the screen and the voiceover that says: “However you like to play, we’ve got your bet. Boost your acca odds at Ladbrokes.com.”

ASA bans Ladbrokes ad

Due to the complaint and the ASA’s final decision to remove the ad from the air, they stated why the call was made.

In response to the first scene and the voiceover that stated, “I’m a nodder, up to the football, down to the app like a dog on a dashboard”, the ASA felt that this showed the behaviour of someone who was constantly engrossed in betting.

Regarding the following scene of the man on the train station, the ASA felt that this showed the behaviour of someone who wasn’t aware of their surroundings. The man in the ad isn’t simply enjoying a game of football, but his actions are due to being enthralled with betting.

And finally, the three men who went from being very excited to experiencing extreme tension showed the mood swings that have been connected to problem gambling, according to the ASA. All in all, the problems that were depicted and the fact that they tied directly to betting on sports is what was the final nail in the coffin for this Ladbrokes ad.

Ladbrokes responds

In a statement following the ban, Ladbrokes shared that the point of the ad was to present the feelings experienced while watching football matches. They had no intention of showing irresponsible gambling but instead showed typical reactions to everyday occurrences.

The sportsbook stated that they also sought advice from the Committee of Advertising Practice’s Copy Advice Service and that no issues were found before the ad went on air.

While this seems to be a sincere response, Ladbrokes is no stranger to having its ads banned. Throughout the years, other TV ads and posters have been removed, which even prompted Ladbrokes to respond with spoof ads to make light of the situation.

It remains to be seen whether Ladbrokes will learn from these bans or if they’ll simply use them as a way to draw even more attention to their site.

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