Tabcorp is set to appeal the Advertising Standard Bureau’s decision to ban an ad which complainants said “glorified gambling” and concealing gambling addiction.
The ad was part of Tabcorp’s new brand proposition with the slogan ‘No one has more racing action than the TAB app.’
The 30 second TVC featured a man thinking back to his fishing trip where he watched live races and racing form on the TAB app with his friends, before telling his girlfriend he had a great trip.
Complainants argued the advertisement condoned gambling and the seriousness of an addiction.
A complainant said: “This ad glorifies gambling and gambling addiction. This ad is always shown during family friendly hours exposing children to gambling and making it look like a great life choice.”
Another said the ad implied it was ok lie to your partner about a serious gambling addiction, made worse by the Bon Jovi soundtrack, ‘I will always love you.’
Tabcorp said in a response: “The advertisement does not ‘glamorise gambling as a kind of pleasure that one should indulge in over a weekend, but come home unsuspected’ and is not a depiction of a problem gambler concealing his gambling from his family.”
“The Advertisement is intended to promote that ‘No one has more racing action than the TAB App’ in a light-hearted and humorous manner and to depict the enjoyment that many Australians derive from using the racing Form and watching racing vision on their phone,” the advertiser told the ASB.
A minority of the Board considered the men placed one bet on the app and were watching the live and replay version of one race, thus showcasing how the app can allow you to relive a single experience.
However the majority of the Board noted the reminiscence of the trip focused solely on wagering activities, with the men oblivious to the fishing trip around them. The majority of the Board said the app took priority in all aspects of the men’s weekend.
The Board however noted the man’s response to his girlfriend was not a lie about his gambling activities, nor did it condone lying about a gambling addiction.
The ASB agreed the ad had overstepped the boundaries and ordered Tabcorp to pull it down.
In response to the ruling, the gambling company said: “While Tabcorp notes the Board’s decision, we do disagree with it and intend to seek an independent review. Tabcorp maintains that the Advertisement does not breach the Wagering Code.”
“Nonetheless, Tabcorp confirms that the Advertisement is not currently being broadcast on free-to-air or subscription television and does not propose to broadcast the Advertisement until such time as the matter is resolved.”