Northern & Shell’s The Health Lottery advert across British national press was banned by the UK Advertising Standards Authority after complaints about its misleading offers.
The Health Lottery is operated in full compliance with British gambling laws, however, it didn’t help them to keep the ad running in the press after the ban by the national advertising regulator.
The advert in question implied that purchasing a lottery ticket could be an easy way to solving any financial problems or even a short-cut to financial independence and security. The ad in the United Kingdom gambling news had a headline saying: “Mortgage? What mortgage?” and as usual there was a small text “Now two chances to win GBP 100k…*” above the prominent prizes examples.
It’s important to notice that the advertisement was created by the The Health Lottery in-house creative team, and maybe that was the reason of the irresponsibility behind the ad’s message and the way it was conveyed.
The UK Advertising Standards Authority monitors and regulates all gambling ads in the country including those from the online casinos in United Kingdom. The body that complained to the ASA was the Gambling Reform and Society Perception Group.
The lottery operator defended its position saying that the advertisement was only suggesting the ways for the lottery winner to spend the winnings. The ad was a part of a whole selection of headlines including “I took all of my family and friends to the Caribbean”.
Nevertheless, the regulatory authority took the complainant’s point of view, stating that the CAP code mentions that “marketing communications must not suggest that participating in a lottery can be a solution to financial concerns,” instead it should “refer to other benefits of winning a prize”.
The ASA conveyed a view that winning a prize comes with benefits including a purchase of new goods or experiences, rather than paying off existing debts and securing financial independence.