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Gambling site Neds pulls tradie ad after watchdog criticises excessive wagering

Following over 60 complaints, the Advertising Standards Board has banned a TV commercial by betting service Neds for promoting “excessive participation in wagering activities”.

The 30 second television ad shows a female client checking in on the lack of progress on a construction site while the tradesmen on site are all sitting around with their phone in their hands explaining why they can’t finish their part of the unfinished house.

One complaint to the Ad Standards Board said the Neds ad portrayed “a disconnection from the real world, work and relationships as positive” while another complaint claimed the ad depicts “gambling addiction as normal and presents problem gambling behaviours as humorous and clever”.

“The series of Neds ads promote gambling addiction as normal and presents problem gambling behaviours as humorous and clever,” another complaint posted to the Ad Standards Board added.

In a response to the complaints, Neds noted the ad was intended to be “humorous and light-hearted” and all the workers are wearing appropriate safety gear and the tradesmen are not smoking or drinking.

“The tradesmen are not depicted as gambling on their phones in a way which could be construed as being unhealthy or unsafe, or acting in any other way which could posing a health and safety risk on the work site or according to prevailing Community Standards,” the betting company added.

Standing by its commercial the advertiser said the men are portrayed merely taking “advantage of their downtime on site” and are entertaining themselves on their break by having a bet.

The Ad Standards Board said the advert indicates the workers have allowed wagering to take priority over work and fabricate reasons not to finish the house as a result.

“The message taken from the promotion is a portrayal of excessive participation in wagering activities,” the Board concluded upholding the complaint.

Other complaints made to the ad watchdog said the ad “encourages and rewards disrespectful and condescending treatment of women”.

“I feel this ad is degrading towards women. The manner in which the men are attempting to dismiss her genuine request for them to do there job so they can sit around and place bets is ridiculous. I feel it’s also offensive to men!,” an additional complaint said.

The watchdog, however, agreed the ad was not degrading or vilifying towards women.

Neds said the “alleges infringing” ad would be pulled from free to air TV as of Sunday.

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