Gambling Ads Banned In The UK

This news story goes to show just how sensitive the issue of gambling still is.  I actually thought that more and more people are seeing the lighter side of gambling and not seeing it as being inherently evil.  From what I read, though, it seems that the “taint” has not been totally removed.

So what is the hullaballoo all about?  Apparently, in the UK, a series of ads for Partouche Betting was launched.  The ads struck a raw nerve in many people, including the Advertising Standards Agency, which resulted in a ban.  The Guardian has this story:

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.”

So is the tone of the ads offensive?  I might be biased but I think that taken in the right context, there is nothing wrong with them.  What do you think?

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