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Ladbrokes ads 'irresponsible'

Two poster ads for bookmakers Ladbrokes have been banned for condoning an irresponsible attitude towards gambling following 98 complaints about the wider multimedia campaign.

The first poster, part of the Ladbrokes Life campaign, showed a male character nicknamed Mr Brightside accompanied by the text: "When you win it's skill - When you lose it's bad luck," while a second read: "Once is luck - Twice is talent."

The wider campaign, featuring five male friends, carried the tagline: "They are the dreamers, the glory-seekers, the back-page philosophers, the Wednesday night warriors. They are the have-a-go heroes of Saturday afternoon. They are the betting men, and this is the Ladbrokes Life."

Most of the complainants said the ads portrayed gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible.

Ladbrokes said it believed most consumers would see the ads, viewed as a whole, as depicting snapshots of the life of a regular group of friends, would recognise the dryly humorous tone and would not interpret them as encouraging an irresponsible attitude towards gambling.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it only upheld the complaints in relation to the two posters rather than the campaign as a whole and believed that most viewers would not interpret the ads to imply that gambling would confer admiration or otherwise enhance personal qualities.

However it was concerned that the poster ads did not contain the same degree of context, and ruled that the two it banned condoned an irresponsible attitude towards gambling.

It ruled that the two posters must not appear again in their current form, adding: "We told Ladbrokes to ensure that their advertising did not condone an irresponsible attitude towards gambling."

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