Petition update

Greyhound racing radio ad in breach of advertising code

Irish Council Against Blood Sports ICABS
Ireland, Ireland

Mar 2, 2019 — 

The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland has told the Irish Greyhound Board that its current radio advert is in breach of the advertising standards code and "must not reappear in its current form".

The authority upheld a complaint from a member of the public who "considered that the radio advertisement was encouraging gambling” but that, contrary to advertising rules, it had “not included any reference to responsible gambling".

The ad includes characters saying - “There are many ways to pick a winner at the dogs: Dog number 5 after me favourite perfume; dog number 6, the amount of times I've re-married; trap number 4 after the amount of women who've given me a fake phone number tonight;
number 2, I read the form.”

The complainant noted that the advertiser had not referred to greyhound racing as a form of betting or gambling and considered that the advertiser was "encouraging gambling without making any reference to same".

Responding to the complaint, the Irish Greyhound Board claimed that, even though characters in the ad are clearly discussing picking a winner, the ad "had made no reference to gambling or betting". They went on to maintain that “the message was about picking a winner in a race, with no incentive to place money on a race or reference that placing a bet enhances the race” and that the ad "was about the sporting occasion itself and the menial reasons a sporting event attendee would pick one racing greyhound over another, as a neutral would do at an Irish provincial rugby game."

The Advertising Standards Authority committee rejected this, saying: "half of the advertisement was given to dialogue on how people picked a ‘winner’...given the concentration on ways to pick a winner for the first half of the advertisement, the Committee considered that the content was likely to be interpreted as strongly implying the notions of chance and associated gambling activity."

They found that the ad was in breach of Section 10.10 of the advertising code. This states: "All marketing communications for gambling services or products shall contain a message to encourage responsible gambling and shall direct people to a source of information about gambling and gambling responsibly."

"The radio advertising must not reappear in its current form," the ASAI concluded. "An advertisement with a significant portion of content referring to the likes of picking winners and/or form should include a responsibility message."


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