The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld three complaints submitted against Profit Accumulator, which is trading as Bonus Accumulator, after a complainant suggested that the advert was ‘socially irresponsible’.
The advert was featured in a paid-for Facebook post and on the company’s website. The former, which was seen on 9 June 2020, featured a video explaining how Bonus Accumulator’s service worked. In one section of the video, a voiceover read through a number of testimonials from consumers.
This included one that stated “This is my 45th day of isolation … this money is so welcome as I haven’t earned anything in six weeks …”. At the end of the video the voiceover stated: “It is almost statistically certain that you will make a profit if you do enough offers.”
The advert was challenged after the complainant raised concerns about whether the wording of the advert was socially irresponsible because ‘it suggested that casino bonus hunting could be a way to achieve financial security’.
The advert featured on the website, which was seen on 14 June 2020, featured a statement which said “casino bonuses are not gambling because just like matched betting, we give you an edge that allows you to beat the bookies…” with the firm once again stating that “it is almost statistically certain that you will make a profit.”
In addition to suggesting that this could be considered socially irresponsible and misleading, the complainant also raised questions over whether or not the claims could be substantiated.
Responding to the claims, Bonus Accumulator explained that “casino bonus hunting” was a system by which consumers could exploit casino bonuses where there was a statistical edge; the purpose of their service was to assist members in taking advantage of those free online casino bonuses and promotions.
They said the statement “This is my 45th day of isolation … this money is so welcome as I haven’t earned anything in six weeks”, which had been presented in ad (a) as a Facebook comment left by one of Profit Accumulator’s consumers, was immaterial and not a key part of the ad.
The firm said that taken in the context of earlier statements in the ad, such as “I cannot promise you that you will make money”, the statement was not irresponsible or materially significant.
Upholding the complaints, the ASA said: “We understood “casino bonus hunting” involved betting using promotional bonuses from online casinos, so that no loss was incurred; a profit could be made because the consumer did not have to pay for the stake.
“We noted that Bonus Accumulator’s service provided consumers with information on promotional offers, as well as directing them to particular bets and allowing them to calculate how much needed to be wagered.
“Additionally, we had not seen any evidence to demonstrate that any users of the system had been successful and achieved profits as a result of using the system. We therefore concluded that the system’s success and profitability had not been substantiated, and so the claim “It is almost statistically certain that you will make a profit” was likely to mislead.”
The ASA ruled that ‘the ads must not appear again in the form complained about’, having told the company that they must ‘ensure that future marketing communications did not present gambling as an alternative to employment or a way to achieve financial security’.
In addition, the agency stated that Bonus Accumulator must ‘ensure future marketing communications did not irresponsibly downplay the risk involved in gambling’.