William Hill is a top gambling operator in the United Kingdom that provides both land based and online gambling options. The company’s most recent advertising campaign has come under fire by the UK Advertising Standards Authority for using children’s toys as well as children in the campaign.
Twitter ads by the company have been found to contain items that children might find appealing and after alerting the ASA, William Hill has now been criticized for their latest campaign. One image of the campaign features a child holding a golf club and golf ball, discussing The Masters. Two additional ads featured two teddy bears wearing a rosette and crown and appear to be in relation to if the royal baby was going to be a boy or girl.
In the UK, gambling advertisements are supposed to promote gambling products responsibly and the ASA has ruled that William Hill breached a code of conduct. By using an image of a child, William Hill was in violation of the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotions, and Direct Marketing.
William Hill can no longer run these particular ads and was told that in future, advertisements cannot contain images of children or images that would have an appeal to children. William Hill replied to the ASA that the images used could have attracted children’s attention and this is unacceptable, making moves to avoid this type of advertisement in the future.