UK Lotto ad banned


Email campaign alleged to encourage excessive gambling

The UK Advertising Standards Authority has once again banned a marketing effort - this time by the UK National Lottery - after receiving a complaint from a member of the public about the content in a direct emailing campaign "that could be seen to be encouraging excessive gambling."

Existing National Lottery account holders who had opted in to receive information were sent the email, which the lottery claimed was a humorous and genuine attempt to persuade lottery account holders to use the online facilities to purchase their lottery tickets.

The email campaign centred on possible reasons for not taking the opportunity to purchase lottery tickets online every week, such as being abducted by aliens. An ingenious add-on was an "excuse generator" which served up some fun excuses such as "I was practising my lassoing and I got a bit tied up".

Following adjudication, the ASA ruled that the content encouraged repeated and potentially excessive gambling by referring to the greater chance of winning from multiple entries across lottery games. The phrase "The more you play the more likely you are to win" was particularly noted as giving gamblers the impression that they were more likely to win if they played more often and if they purchased multiple lines for as many Lottery games as possible.

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