With decision n. 25/2013 issued on April 9, 2013, the Advertising and Marketing Communication Self-Regulation Authority (the “Jury”) took position on the interpretation of section 28 ter of the Self Regulation Code of Marketing Communication (“CMC”) relating to gaming and gambling advertisements.
Said provision is set to protect individuals from the adverse effects of non-responsible gambling. It provides that gambling commercials shall not encourage or otherwise invite the public to gamble as a way to solve psychological or financial problems. According to section 28 ter CMC such ads shall also include a warning that gambling is illegal for underage.
In the case, the Review Board, which is the Jury’s body acting for the protection of the general interests of consumers, claimed that the opponent’s commercial, also including statements such as "win up to € 8 million, withdraw them now", was capable of improperly promoting gambling games.
The opponent asked the dismissal of the case, arguing that the commercial was a permissible parody and that it was already taken off the air.
The Jury’s decision affirmed that the disputed commercial exceeded the limits provided under Article 28 ter CMC, as it presented a slot machine as a possible remedy to financial and psychological problems. The Jury also stated that "even if the advertising campaign is over, there still is a risk of reiteration of the unlawful commercial". The Jury also stated that it was irrelevant the circumstance that the same ad was aired in other countries without being challenged.