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Gala Bingo Slapped With An Advert Ban

When any online bingo brand chooses to advertise their wares on television, they are required to adhere to a number of strict rules. These are laid out in the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP Code). This code is applied to all adverts and over the years, many bingo sites have fallen foul of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for breaching a number of different codes. Recently it was the turn of Gala Bingo and an advert for a promotion that focused on The Chase bingo at their site.

In this instance, the one complaint that was received about the Gala Bingo advert was focused on the small print that appeared on the screen. The complainant felt that it was illeligible and the ASA agreed which resulted in the complaint being upheld, and the advert not to be shown again in its current form.

The implications for Gala Bingo are probably very limited considering that the promotion ran in February, but for the industry as a whole, a lesson was learned – ensure that your small print is readable.

Gala Bingo Respond

The full ruling can be read on the ASA website here but Gala Bingo raised many valid points in their response to the complaint, albeit that the were not enough to avoid the ban. They explained to the ASA that they had followed the BCAP’s Advertising Guidance for the ‘On-screen text and subtitling in TV ads’ and created text that was 57px high because it was just 59 words. The text was on screen for 17 seconds and this led them to believe it was compliant with the BCAP Code.

Even when Clearcast were asked to assess the advert, they too believed that the text was compliant and legible and did not believe it to be misleading.

Not A Great Outcome For Gala Bingo

The ASA didn’t agree and whilst they accepted that the height and duration of the text appearance on screen exceeded the requirements of the BCAP code, the width made the text compressed making the words appear narrow and tall. In addition, the moving background and the change in background colour meant the focus was drawn away from the small print.

They found the text was not clearly legible and therefore the advert breached the following three BCAP codes and cannot be shown in its current format again.

BCAP 3.1
Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.

BCAP 3.2
Advertisements must not mislead consumers by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.

Material information is information that consumers need in context to make informed decisions about whether or how to buy a product or service. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead consumers depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the advertisement is constrained by time or space, the measures that the advertiser takes to make that information available to consumers by other means.

BCAP 3.11
Qualifications must be presented clearly.

It’s not like www.galabingo.com purposely tried to mislead players and whilst their advert has been banned, their still a great site.

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