An advert promoting the Health Lottery has been banned by advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), after it was found to encourage socially irresponsible gambling behaviour.

The advert appeared on Demand 5, the video-on-demand service for TV station Channel 5, promoting an offer where customers could have their first two weeks of play free if they signed up online and paid for tickets on a monthly basis.

It said that if players signed up for an online direct debit, they would receive the two weeks’ pay back in the form of a refund.

This prompted a single complaint, challenging whether the ad condoned or encouraged gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible or could lead to financial harm.

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