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ASA Ban “Misleading” Online Poker Ad

21/4/2009
Party Poker, one of the UK’s leading online gaming sites, have been forced to withdraw a magazine advertising campaign for their $2 million prize pool game after the Advertising Standards Agency deemed it’s content to be “misleading”.

The promotional advert featured the text “Players win more at Party Poker” accompanied by the small-print “Poker Players Research Ltd Opinion Poll, May 08, sample size 10,000” which ASA ruled to be a subjective statement after receiving just one public complaint.

ASA highlighted the fact that the above statement was generated from a poll completed by 10,000 Party Poker players and, as such, did not provide a fair and accurate reflection of public opinion towards the site. Additionally, the organisation also ruled that the inference of the advert was that more money could be won at Party Poker than anywhere else on the internet – a claim that was wholly unsubstantiated.

A statement from ASA said of the advert: “We noted that the ad stated ‘play for $2m guaranteed prize pool...’ and considered that readers were likely to infer that they could win more money playing at Party Poker than at other sites.

“We considered that readers were likely to interpret the claim ‘... people love to win at PartyPoker.com’ as a subjective one that was based on the expression of the poll participants opinion,” the statement continued.

The Party Poker advert is the latest online gambling promotion to come under scrutiny from ASA, just a few weeks after Ladbrokes had a TV advertising campaign banned for “encouraging reckless behaviour”. Party Poker are yet to comment on the decision.

Duncan Wilkie
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