Poker advertisements banned after being linked with erotic entertainment

June 10, 2009

Swank Poker and their current ongoing campaign has been heavily censured by the Watchdog of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The said campaign has been published in adult magazines promising readers ‘hot action’ if they gamble online. Qouted as ‘the very best in poker action coupled with the finest erotic entertainment that the civilised world has to offer’, the Swank Poker advert made very clear promises.

The link betting gambling and sexual success was made clear in their magazine campaign. Swank Poker featured a woman cupping her breasts under the catchy line “Will you hold this pair for me?“. This advert has now been banned by the ASA ad watchdog for conservative reasons. This campaign promised “hot action” to online gamblers where “your favourite girl will play as you tell her to’’ and it was running through the magazine in an adult title called Flush. In further promotions, through an advertorial Swank Poker has quoted “the very best in poker action coupled with the finest erotic entertainment that the civilised world has to offer”. Readers were told on a separate occasion that the female online poker players featured in the service are “not your alter egos” but “bring enough action to the Swank tables and the next thing you know, she could be taking care of your wildest fantasies”. When it came to rewards and prizes, this included “serious erotic action” and “the opportunity to star in a movie with them”.

Eventually, the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) filed a complaint with the ASA. They complained that the advertisements were linking gambling to the world of erotic seduction and sexual success and it also argued that the adverts were not socially responsible not acceptable. This is especially pertaining when it comes into relation to protecting children, minors and “other vulnerable persons” from these online sexual exploits issued by the named gambling commercial.

On the other hand, Swank Poker has denied all the allegations. The latter counter argued that instead of offering the standard marketing tools such as caps and T-shirts, they decided to offer equal rewards that were legally being sold. The difference is that these alternative goods, happen to be of a very adult nature and not adequate for everyone. Swank Poker says that they clearly advertised that these adult services were for adults only.

Finally, the ASA ruled that the adverts have breached the regular advertising code when linking gambling to sexual connotations. They also noted they should not appear again in future ads. However, they did not favour the second complaint which said the advertisements are targeting the young and vulnerable people since they appeared in a magazine targeting those in the 25- to 40-year-old age group.


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