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ASA: Postcode Lottery Advertisement Breaches Regulations

A recent People’s Postcode Lottery ad that appeared in the Daily Mail is under fire from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the regulator in charge of advertising activities in the United Kingdom. The aforementioned advertisement was seen on July 1, 2023, and it included a story about a couple that was planning their wedding when the man was fired from his job . The woman’s name was Angie, while the man, Craig, was said to have been made redundant. This setback resulted in the couple postponing their wedding but that was the case only until they hit a £62,500 ($77,300) win from the People’s Postcode Lottery. The couple is then presented holding the cheque and being happy with the scooped prize.

Additional text as a part of the Lottery’s advertisement explains that the woman works as an NHS nurse and the couple had recently made a deposit for their wedding . That all sounded well until her future husband was made redundant. However, in a happy turn of events, the couple won the prize from the Lottery and their wedding and honeymoon would go on as planned, reveals the recent advertisement. The advertisement also revealed that Craig started a new job and suggested that he would treat his colleagues with coffee.

“ We had to postpone the wedding when Craig lost his job. Couple’s wedding is back on after they scooped £62,500 on People’s Postcode Lottery, “
reads the text of the advertisement, according to the ASA

The Authority Upholds Its Complaint against the Lottery

Filing a complaint, the ASA probed whether or not the advertisement proposed that lottery activities could be seen as a solution for financial hardships . Citing the CAP Code, the Authority explained that marketing communications cannot present or suggest that financial concerns can be resolved with gambling activities such as participating in lottery.

When approached by the ASA, the People’s Postcode Lottery responded that the advertisement did not breach the established code . It said that the couple from the advertisement was presented as one that is not struggling, considering that they planned a honeymoon and wedding. According to the Lottery, such expenses require a disposable income , thus reaffirming the statement that the couple didn’t have financial concerns.

Moreover, the Postcode Lottery said that the ad “ did not unduly play on people’s fears of financial pressures nor referred to salary or debts .” It reiterated that the ad presented the couple as one that isn’t impacted by “salary or debts,” but on the contrary, was able to save money they can use for a wedding.

“ Because the ad suggested that participating in a lottery was a way to solve financial concerns, we concluded that the ad breached the Code, “
explains the ASA

Despite the Lottery’s view, the ASA upheld its complaint , saying that the advertisement breached the established advertising Code . The Authority said the aforementioned advertisement suggested that lottery can be used as a method to solve financial concerns , thus breaching the regulations. According to the ASA, the ad breached CAP Code rule 17.3 and said that it cannot appear again in its current form. always shares this Contents with License.

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