Wed, Oct 8, 2008
An online ad campaign featuring Eric Cantona has been banned for suggesting gambling was an escape from personal problems.
European gambling company Partouche Betting’s digital ads used images of Cantona dressed as a medieval king with the straplines “Bet to forget” and “Click or regret”.
The digital ads, part of a £2.5m campaign that included TV and online ads, ran over summer during the Euro 2008 football tournament.
They poked fun at England’s failure to qualify for Euro 2008 and encouraged people to place bets online.
Partouche Betting’s ads linked through to a website with a number of “King Eric” films where Cantona told punters: “Europe kicked you out of the Euro, who cares?” Cantona also said: “Bet to forget” and “To bet or not to bet? There is no question.”
The Advertising Standards Authority received a complaint that the digital ad was irresponsible because it “exploited the susceptibilities of vulnerable people” and suggested that gambling could “provide an escape from personal problems”.
The watchdog also challenged whether the claim “Click or regret” portrayed gambling as an indispensable pastime.
Partouche Betting said the ads were meant to be a “light-hearted” take on England’s disappointment and that the campaign was only meant to be seen in the context of Euro 2008.
The ASA said that none of the digital ads, whether they featured Cantona or not, explained the link to Euro 2008 and the claim “Bet to forget”.
It also said that the claim “Click or regret” also implied that gambling took priority in life.
It resulted in the ASA banning the ads.
Cantona has a stake in Partouche Betting.
Source: The Guardian