A gambling advert which featured fluffy animals has been banned after being branded “irresponsible” by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
The video ad for Gala Spins – part of the FTSE 100-listed gambling giant GVC Holdings – featured five toy animals.
The ASA ruled the ad “was likely to be of particular appeal to under-18s” and therefore “the ad was irresponsible”.
The owner of Gala Spins said it had removed the advert from all its channels.
The paid-for Facebook post in August featured a video caption reading “it’s a rollercoaster of cuteness” and a video showing “fluffy favourite” toy animals.
It prompted a complaint to the advertising watchdog that the content of the advert was likely to appeal to children.
The ASA agreed and said: “Gambling ads must not be likely to be of particular appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture.
“We considered that the ad was likely to be of particular appeal to under-18s and therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible and breached the [advertising] Code.”
Gala Spins said it posted the video featuring stuffed animals in error and that it was an out-of-date video.
It said its intended target audience was women aged between 18 and 65 interested in gambling.
Gala Spins was censured by the watchdog two years ago for linking gambling and skill in an advert.
One of its TV ads featured a man playing on his tablet with a voiceover suggesting: “Try it now and see if you’ve got the talent.”
The ASA ruled that the line “see if you’ve got the talent” was effectively an invitation to gamble online in the context of the ad, and therefore implied that viewers could use skill to improve their chances of winning.
Gala Spins is part of Gibraltar-based LC International which in turn is owned by GVC Holdings, which bought Ladbrokes Coral in 2018.
Last year, GVC processed £11.2bn-worth of sports wagers through its various brands, including Bwin, Coral, Crystalbet, Eurobet, Ladbrokes, Neds International and Sportingbet.
It also owns a range of games companies including CasinoClub, Foxy Bingo, Gala, Gioco Digitale, Partypoker and PartyCasino.