Church accuses online casino ad of linking booze and gambling - Friday 21st of October 2005

A poster ad campaign for online casino company Victor Chandler, featuring Rowland Rivron, has attracted a complaint from The Methodist Church, which labelled the ads as irresponsible for linking drinking and gambling.

One poster appeared on the London Underground and another across London Buses with the strapline "See life in a new light". The ads were created by HH S.

In one execution the comedian Rowland Rivron is seen using a laptop while sat in a bar with a glass of drink in his hand.

In the other, there are two images -- the one on the right of the poster is the same as in the first execution, however on the left Rivron is pictured in a barber shop with a laptop on his lap and his fists clenched in jubilation.

Victor Chandler said its intention was to show that internet gambling could be enjoyed in various settings via a laptop computer and was not confined to personal computers.

Settings for other posters in the ad campaign included a bus, a bed and a boating lake.

Victor Chandler said it was not its intention to link gambling activities to drinking and maintained that there was nothing in the ads that showed or encouraged intoxication or unwise gambling.

The online casino group also argued that it was not socially irresponsible to show someone with an alcoholic drink when gambling, because people were allowed to and often did at places such as casinos, race courses, pubs and clubs.

The Advertising Standards Authority did not uphold the complaint and said that consumers would see the ads as merely highlighting that online gambling could be enjoyed in different locations.

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