ASA Bans Scratchcard Ad from Outside School Gates

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has ruled on and banned a National Lottery scratchcard advert created by Camelot for inappropriately targeting children.

The ruling concerns a poster ad that was placed directly outside the entrance of a school. The advert was for a rainbow scratchcard with the text ‘Scratch and See… top prize £50,000 Lucky Fortune… 7 Chance to win! £2. The problem arose because the CAP code that gambling firms must follow state that marketing communications for lotteries should not be aimed at those aged 16 years or younger.

Camelot responded by stating that it has a policy against placing adverts within 100 metres of schools. They say the misplaced ad was the result of a database that is supposed to identify and remove schools from potential advertising locations using postcode data. They system, they say, failed on this occasion.

Due to the context in which the ad appeared, the ASA upheld the ruling that the audience of the poster would be significantly skewed towards children and as such ruled that the ad must not be displayed in close proximity to a school again. Camelot were also asked to take greater measures to ensure that its lottery ads are not directed towards children that are under 16.

The case again shows how highly regulated lotteries and other gambling firms are and as time goes by, more and more concerns are being raised about the way children are bombarded with adverts for gambling firms, whether that be scratchcards, sports betting during live matches, or online bingo adverts.

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