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ASA Censures Swank Poker Campaign (now Red Cherry Poker)

10/6/2009
A magazine campaign for raunchy poker site Swank Poker has been pulled after the Advertising Standards Authority deemed it to link gambling with sexual success.

The one-page advertorial for the now re-branded poker room featured a picture of a woman cupping her breasts with the caption “will you hold this pair for me?” and was featured in UK-based poker magazine Flush before a complaint was lodged to ASA.

A second promotion for the site featured in the same publication positioned Swank Poker as “the very best in poker action coupled with the finest erotic entertainment that the civilised world has to offer" and promised that frequent players would be rewarded with “serious erotic action”.

After the adverts went to print, the Remote Gambling Association complained to ASA that the ads both linked gambling to sexual gratification and were irresponsible with regards to protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being exploited by gambling commercials.

On reviewing the complaint, ASA ruled that the ads did breach the advertising code by linking gambling to sexual success and ordered that they should not appear again, however, the RGA’s second complaint was overturned due to the fact that the ads appeared in a magazine specifically targeted at 25-40 year olds.

Swank Poker, meanwhile, denied any wrongdoing on the grounds that, despite the explicit nature of the content, its adverts promised only things that were legally sold and clearly stated that the site was intended for adults only.
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