The People’s Postcode Lottery has been reprimanded by Britain’s advertising regulator over an advert that linked gambling to solving financial problems.
The People’s Postcode Lottery was the subject of a complaint over an advert in the Daily Mail newspaper which reported that a couple had been able to overcome redundancy and pay for their wedding thanks to a £62,500 lottery win.
The advert, published in July, explained that Nottinghamshire couple Angie and Craig had initially postponed their wedding until their numbers were finalised. After being part of their neighborhood’s £1million win, they could now afford a honeymoon too.
Following the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) complaint, both People’s Postcode Lottery and the Daily Mail had argued that the advert did not imply that taking part in the lottery was a way to achieve financial security.
However, the ASA ruled that the advert constituted an infringement CAP Code (Edition 12) Rule 17.3 (Lotteries) and may not reappear in the form in question. This rule states that marketing communications must not create the impression that participating in a lottery can be a solution to financial problems, an alternative to employment, or a way to achieve financial security.
ASA also warned People’s Postcode Lottery against creating the impression that participating in a lottery is a solution to financial problems.
Postcode lottery defends ad
In its response to the complaint, the People’s Postcode Lottery said it did not believe the advert breached UK advertising regulations as it did not suggest that the winners had experienced financial difficulties before winning the prize.
The group said that there was a degree of subjectivity surrounding the interpretation of “financial concerns” and that overall they did not believe that the fact that the couple was able to resume their wedding plans would be interpreted as an indication of attending one Lottery could be a solution to financial problems.
Citing the CAP guidelines, the group further explained that the advert did not overly exploit people’s fears of financial pressures, nor did it refer to salaries or debts.
The Daily Mail said it did not believe the advert implied that entering the lottery was a way to achieve financial security. They believed the advert did not suggest that the couple had changed their lifestyle as a result of the win, other than allowing them to resume their wedding plans.
In its decision, the ASA said: “We considered that the ad, together with the portrayal of the couple as stressed because they could no longer afford their wedding, had the effect of creating the impression that winning the People’s Postcode Lottery could bring a win.” solution to her financial concerns about paying for her wedding.
“This was underlined by the fact that the couple continued to take part in the People’s Postcode Lottery even after Craig was sacked.
“Because the ad suggested that participating in a lottery was a way to address financial concerns, we concluded that the ad violated the Code.”