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ASA upholds complaints against 888 over “misleading” ad

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld complaints against 888 regarding an ambiguous ad published by an affiliate marketing site.

888ASA

An advert for 888 brand 777.com was uploaded to www.betterdeals.live on 14 June 2021, which received complaints concerning its mention of a countdown timer for a free spins offer.

Text stating “77 Free Spins (*T&C’s apply) ENABLED FOR ANOTHER” was accompanied by a countdown timer from three minutes, but the offer did not end when it reached zero.

888 argued that the ad was posted without its knowledge, highlighting a policy prohibiting third-party publishers from using materials which had not been approved by the company.

It went on to contend that it had identified the advert on 2 July and instructed the affiliate to remove it. Furthermore, 888 suspended all campaigns with the relevant publisher until further notice.

Despite these arguments, the ASA opted to uphold the complaint, determining that 888 was responsible as the beneficiary of the marketing material.

In its statement, the ASA said: “We considered that consumers would understand that the countdown timer would relate to a specific time limitation in which the “77 Free Spins” promotion needed to be claimed, and that once it ran down to zero the offer would no longer be available.

“However, we understood that if the page was refreshed, the timer would reset to start counting down from three minutes again. Therefore, because the promotion was not time limited, we concluded the ad was misleading.”

This complaint was accompanied by two more regarding the ad’s claims that “casinos are trying to shut down a free Android app” and “that’s allowing everyday people, like Simona Moron, to win huge progressive jackpots using nothing but free spins.”

However, the ASA asserted that 777.com provided no evidence to support either claim and, in the absence of such evidence, deemed the ad misleading on both counts.

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