After receiving 11 complaints about the irresponsibility of two online advertisements for Prime Scratchcards the UK Advertising Standards Authority decided to ban these advertisements. The ads were viewed online at sites such as Facebook, Yahoo and MSN.
The first online ad which featured a photograph of a lady holding a baby stated “ARE YOU FEELING LUCKY” and stated “I am a single mom & I live on family benefits, I played & won £46,799 and it is incredible for me. I was very stressed for my son’s future and I couldn’t sleep, now that I won I know that I can help my son build a better future.”
The second ad also featured a photograph of an ecstatic lady with a cheque in her hand and stating “Sandrine R. London won £21,544: I was waiting for my husband to come home from work and decided to play a few games online at Prime Scratchcards. I was in total shock when I saw that I had won so much. It really couldn’t have come along at a better time as I’ve just been made redundant. I’m now going to take a well deserved holiday with my husband, and pay off some debts with what’s left.”
Ten of the eleven complaints received were from people against the fact that the ad suggested that gambling offered a solution to financial worries and one complainant found that the second ad implied that gambling offered a solution to financial worries associated with redundancy and debt.
Yahoo stated that the second ad, which was the only one that appeared on its site, was targeted at an audience over the age of 18 years and that they had now withdrawn the ad. Facebook failed to comment on the complaints.