Affiliate ad spells trouble for 888, Ladbrokes, Sky and Casumo

Ladbrokes ASA said firm one of four responsible for online ads that were subject of complaints

Ladbrokes ASA said firm one of four responsible for online ads that were subject of complaints

SkyBet announced earlier this month that it is to close down its affiliate marketing programme amid increasing regulatory pressure on the remote gambling industry and the sector's use of affiliates.

Reports have also emerged that LadbrokesCoral have also significantly reduced its dependence on affiliates, following a recent internal review.

An advert promoting Leeds-based online casino Sky Vegas purporting to be editorial content has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for not making its advertising intentions clear enough and for promoting gambling as a solution to financial concerns.

They stated that they had terminated their agreement with the affiliate in question and that the ad contravened the terms of the agreement they had with the affiliate.

Similar ads for Sky Vegas, Ladbrokes Casino and Casumo were also probed following complaints.

A spokesperson fro Sky Vegas, said: "This advert was created by an affiliate without any knowledge or input from Sky Betting & Gaming". 888 stated that it had terminated its agreement with the affiliate found to have supplied the offending advertisement. Casumo blamed an external "media buyer".

While none of the bookmakers condoned the actions and distanced themselves from the affiliate - a third party paid to direct potential punters to betting sites - the ASA deemed all stood to benefit and held them responsible.

Ladbrokes said its ad was created by an affiliate and had been removed.

The ASA upheld complaints against the "socially irresponsible" advert and three nearly identical adverts that used the same narrative but named 888, Ladbrokes and Casumo instead.

An ASA spokesman said: 'Because we considered that the ads suggested gambling could provide an escape from personal problems such as depression and that it could be a solution to financial concerns, we considered them to be socially irresponsible'.

"The Gambling Commission needs to take strong action against the beneficiaries of these disgusting ads, to make clear that nothing like this can be allowed to happen again".

'We told the firms that their future ads, including those prepared by affiliates, must be clearly identifiable as marketing communications and to take care to ensure their ads were prepared in a socially responsible way'.

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