Watchdog bans Health Lottery ad

The Health Lottery

The Health Lottery has been found guilty of irresponsible advertising with promises of financial security in order to boost sales.

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.



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.

Defence
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."

Breach of code
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."

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