Earlier this month the Advertising Standards Agency (“ASA”) ruled against the Health Lottery in respect of a Facebook post promoting its five weekly draws, and in favour of Skill on Net regarding a leaflet advertising a free spin promotion offered by online casino playojo.com.

ASA ruling on Health Lottery ELM Ltd

The advert for the Health Lottery claimed that each of the applicable draws had a jackpot of “up to £100K” and that “up to £500K can be won each week”. The complainants challenged whether this was misleading as they understood that jackpots were usually lower than £100,000.

In response, the Health Lottery – acknowledging that they were not able to guarantee a £100,000 jackpot for every draw because prizes in society lotteries are tied to ticket sales - confirmed that the top prize available for each of the five weekly draws is £100,000 for each draw, making a total of £500,000 per week. They had, therefore, used to claim of the jackpot being ‘up to’ this amount since October 2011. The lottery operator provided evidence based on normal ticket sale volumes to demonstrate that a top prize of this amount was a realistic expectation (showing that since 2011 there had been 264 jackpot winners, of which 61% had won a jackpot of £100k and of which 71% received a prize of £50k or more).

Despite this, the ASA found the advert to be in breach of CAP Code Rules 3.1 (misleading advertising), 3.7 (substantiation) and 3.9 (qualification). The regulator acknowledged that consumers would interpret the claim “up to £100k jackpot” and “up to £500k every week” to mean that participants would have a realistic chance of winning up to £100,000 if they entered one of the Health Lottery’s five weekly draws. Based on the fact that no consumer had won £100,000 since February 2015 (when the five weekly draws had been introduced), the ASA found that this was not the case. The regulator claimed that – whilst there had been winners of the jackpot in the past – given the fact that the jackpot had not been won for such a long time, the claim “up to £100k” no longer represented a realistic amount that was likely to be won as a jackpot prize and that therefore the ad mislead the consumer in this respect.

Click here to view the full ASA ruling.

ASA ruling on Skill on Net Ltd

A leaflet advertising the playojo.com free spin promotion stated “play your ojo Wheel and win Free Spins”. Two complainants challenged whether this was misleading and could be substantiated, leading the ASA to investigate whether the ad breached CAP Code rules 3.1 (misleading advertising) and 3.7 (substantiation).

In response, Skill on Net provided data from their gaming system logs showing free wheel spins credited to players’ accounts and data on players who take advantage of the offer. The ASA analysed the data and found that free wheel spins had been given to consumers who had then been awarded further free spins. Consequently they held that the claim “play your ojo Wheel and win Free Spins” was substantiated and not misleading.

Click here to view the full ASA ruling.