Two complaints were upheld against Coral’s most recent TV ad after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) determined that it violated the BCAP code.
It has since ruled that the betting company’s advertisement “shall not appear again in any manner complained of.”
Due to allegations that the advertisement violated the code by “condoning or encouraging gambling behavior that was socially irresponsible or could lead to financial, social, or emotional harm,” the ASA upheld the two challenges.
The advertisement featured anxious spectators watching a horse race on a foggy day and said, “Exciting, isn’t it? if your horse prevails by a nose. But if you want something more thrilling, how about three furlongs ago? Look, any horse could take the victory. How about right now, when your horse is being ridden by the starter? How long have you been anticipating the gates to suddenly open? But it’s not much. What about before that? The only horse that matters is yours. Coral. Advance toward the action.
The ASA agreed that the advertisement did not overtly portray or refer to betting. This was how it explained why it had upheld the complaints against the advertisement in its assessment. The ad did mention Coral in the voice-over and in enormous on-screen writing at the end, though, and there were Coral banners all around the track and in the crowd. Each horse also had “CORAL” printed on its saddle cloth.
“We felt viewers would perceive the advertisement in the context that it promoted betting on horse races with Coral,” the statement reads.
‘Our objective with the ad was to capture the trackside enthusiasm and crowd vibe at popular horseracing events,’ Coral said in response to the report. We created the dramatic soundtrack and eye-catching imagery to produce a cinematic feeling in order to appeal to a mature audience of horse racing enthusiasts.
“We believed that a strong sense of anticipation prior to races was an inherent characteristic of horseracing and that replicating that aspect of spectators’ experience was not suggestive of problem gambling, especially because feelings of excitement were a normal reaction to the build-up of major sporting events,” the study’s authors wrote.