Tombola Makes Advertising Faux PasThursday, 18 March 2010 | Written by Tami Bayliss
Tombola Bingo recently ran an advert which drew a lot of attention of an unwanted sort. The advert featured a black man repeating everything said by his Caucasian counterpart. The white man was dressed professionally, whereas the black man was in tropical garb. Two viewers of the advert took great offense to this depiction.
The standards department of Clearcast reviews and approves the content of each advert before it is run, but it appears that the connotations conveyed by this ad for Tombola’ online bingo escaped Clearcast's personnel. Representatives of Clearcast indicated that they initially did not see anything wrong with the advert, but upon further reflection they can see how it could potentially cause offense. The ad has now been permanently banned.
To support its decision to ban this advert, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) asserted that the advert insinuated the white actor had a position of control over the black character. Furthermore, the ASA concluded that this ad served to reinforce the false stereotype that Caucasians are smarter than blacks. This certainly is not the type of sentiment a bingo site, or any other business, desires to convey.
ASA has had a quite a few cases where it banned adverts for online bingo sites, like William Hill , Bingo Hero and Ladbrokes in the past, although usually the reason for banning is misleading information and the promise of free bingo bonuses where in fact the offer is not actually free – which is not the case in Tombola’s recent ad.
To make up for any ruffled feathers, Tombola is featuring an initial deposit bonus of up to £25. Free bingo is also offered by Tombola with its Everyone Is A Winner promotion. Tombola reiterates that players of all creeds are welcomed on the site, and that no offense was intended by this poorly crafted advert.
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