The UK Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a number of complaints against a TV and radio ad for Irish bookmaker Paddy Power which was found to be misleading because the terms and conditions contradicted the main claims in the ads.
The TV ad, viewed in May 2011, featured a woman holding a smart phone. The woman said “Hi there, seen the latest offer from Paddy Power?” The camera then showed a close up of the smart phone, with text stating: “BARCELONA V MAN UTD BARCA WIN NORMAL TIME REFUND LOSING BETS.” A voice-over said: “Like Barcelona v Man Utd in the Champions League final. If Barca win in normal time, we’ll refund losing bets.” The camera then showed the same text on the smart phone while the voice-over repeated “That’s right, if Barcelona win this match in normal time, we’ll refund losing bets.”
On screen text stated “Max £100 refund. Refund: First/Last scorer, correct score & scorecast single bets. T&Cs apply. 18+. gambleaware.co.uk.”
The radio ad also aired in May 2011 and stated: “Hi Paddy Power here and to celebrate the biggest club game in the football universe we've come up with possibly our maddest money back special ever. On Saturday night Barcelona take on Man United in the Champions League Final and if Barcelona win in normal time we'll refund losing bets. You're right we must be off our heads, so quick go to paddypower.com now, have a punt and if Barcelona win, you get your money back. Paddy Power on iPhone, iPad and Android, refund up to £100 on selected markets only. Conditions apply.”
Seven complainants challenged whether the TV ad was misleading because they believed that the small print contradicted the main claim, while one complainant challenged whether the radio ad was misleading because he believed that the main claim was contradicted by the terms and conditions of the offer.
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