The ASA has banned an “irresponsible” matched betting advert.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint against the matched betting service, Profit Accumulator, for suggesting that matched betting could act as a solution to help solve financial issues.
The complaint revolved around two posts that were published on the Profit Accumulator Instagram account.
One of the posts, which was seen on 22 March 2019, included an image which featured the text “Colossal Win 2,380.50” and was captioned “Absolutely amazing win from one of our members 12 minutes ago.” The caption text was followed up with a series of hashtags which included “#makemoney #makingmoney #income #makemoneyfromhome #extraincome #students #sahm #extramoney.”
The second post, which was seen on 11 April 2019, included a review which said “In 1 month I have gone from a person struggling to stay afloat who is worrying about their MOT, bills etc to completely flipping my financial position. Could not have got to this position without match betting and without the guidance of Profit Accumulator.”
As well as the review, the second post included the following hashtags “#workingfromhome #workingfromhomejobs #workingfromhome #earnmoney #earnmoneyonline”
Both ads received a complaint which argued that the posts suggested matched betting could act as a way to achieve financial security.
In its response to the complaints, Profit Accumulator acknowledged that the ads included terms relating to making extra money but argued that they “did not consider that the hashtags suggested that the product was an alternative to full-time employment.” Profit Accumulator also suggested that mentions of making extra money were fair and stated that if users followed instructions correctly, they would be unlikely to lose their money.
The ASA ruling
Despite the company’s response, the ASA upheld the complaint and ruled that the ads must not appear in their current forms again. The ASA said that although it understood that Profit Accumulator’s service itself was not gambling as it “was to provide consumers with information on promotional offers,” it ultimately fell under the umbrella of gambling.
In its ruling, the ASA said: “Although we acknowledged that some consumers who made use of the service provided by Profit Accumulator would be exposed to gambling services, Profit Accumulator’s service was not itself gambling. However, we considered that the purpose of the service was to facilitate gambling and we therefore assessed the ads with that in mind.”
In the first ad, the ASA suggested that the use of #students and #sahm, targeted individuals of a lower income. “We considered that the hashtags combined with the image of a large sum of money implied that Profit Accumulator’s service could be an alternative to employment or a way to achieve financial security,” the ASA said.