Sky Vegas rock star ad falls foul of ASA

By David Cook
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint against Sky Vegas, judging that a TV ad the operator aired suggested that gambling could enhance personal qualities.

One complainant contacted the ASA about the ad, which featured a close-up of a man wearing sunglasses, while a voiceover stated: "This is Michael. This morning he was doing his recycling, but right now he's in Sky Vegas. And here, he's the roulette rock star riding an electric riff of red and black. Cause Michael just registered and right now he's rocking his £10. Why aren't you in Sky Vegas?”

The complainant alleged that the ad suggested that gambling could lead to enhanced personal qualities, thus glamorised gambling.

In response, Bonne Terre, which operates Sky Betting & Gaming, with Sky Vegas being an online casino brand within Sky Bet, said it had received the green light from ad clearance firm Clearcast, after previously being warned about the term “roulette rock star”.

Clearcast concluded the ad only featured a close-up of Michael’s face, did not show any other person and was showing Michael’s enjoyment as opposed to enhanced personal qualities.

The ASA said in its ruling against Sky Vegas: “Although no physical transformation was depicted, we considered the ad implied a distinct change in Michael because he was playing roulette on Sky Vegas – taking the character from ‘everyday Michael’ to ‘rock star Michael’. Therefore, we concluded that the ad suggested that gambling would enhance the personal qualities of those gambling.”

The ad is not permitted to be broadcast again in its current form.

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