The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a complaint made by the Gambling Reform & Society Perception Group (GRASP) that it was wrong to promote a lottery on the basis it was a way to clear debts.
Breach of code
The issue surrounds a national press ad for The Health Lottery with the headline: "Mortgage? What mortgage?," followed by: "Now two chances to win £100K* ..."
GRASP challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because as it implied that participating in a lottery was a solution to financial concerns or a way to achieve financial security.
ASA upheld the complaint and banned the advert from appearing again.
The Health Lottery Ltd defended the ad by saying it was part of a series based on what you could do with lottery winnings. Others suggested people might buy a villa, take family and friends on holiday or pay for grandchildren to go through university.
The organisation also argued that the top prize of £100,000 was "too low to imply financial security."
ASA ruled that this form of advertising breaches the industry code, which states: 'Marketing communications must not suggest that participating in a lottery can be a solution to financial concerns ... or a way to achieve financial security.'
ASA said: "We considered that because the ad suggested that someone who had won the lottery could pay off their debts, the implication was that participation in the lottery was a way of solving financial concerns or achieving financial security."