AG Communications, trading as Karamba.com, has been sanctioned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), after two issues put forward by one complainant were upheld.
The two complaints related to affiliate style pages on the online slot Starburst, featured under the title “Tips and tricks on how to Win at Starburst,” various aspects of “The Starburst Strategy” were featured following a “the top 5 tips for winning” statement.
It was also detailed that text on the advert contained a link to a further web page titled “How to Choose a Winning Slot Machine,” featuring further tips on increasing the chances of winning slot games.
Issuing two complaints, it was first challenged that it could be misleading due to the implication that particular strategies would increase the chances of winning.
Furthermore it was challenged that it “was socially irresponsible because it encouraged gambling behaviour that could lead to financial, social or emotional harm”.
Responding AG Communications stated that the web pages were uploaded by human error, with its usual internal procedures of approval to ensure compliance with regulations, nor training regarding marketing guidelines, not followed by the personnel responsible for claims in the ad.
Also stressing the low levels of user traffic attracted, Karamba emphasised that it had withdrawn the ads, commenced a full internal review and reiterated approval procedures to staff.
Concluding that claims had not been substantiated, were misleading and that it was irresponsible, the ASA ruled that: “The ad must not appear again in its current form.
“We told Karamba.com to ensure their future marketing communications contained nothing that was likely to encourage irresponsible gambling behaviour that could lead to financial, social or emotional harm.
“Additionally, future marketing communications must not misleadingly imply that particular strategies improved a consumer’s chances of winning Starburst when that was not the case, and Karamaba.com must hold adequate substantiation in support of such claims.”