Casumo Casino Ordered to Pull Down Its Ad
October 15th, 2019 3.00pm
The online casino operator Casumo was forced to withdraw one of its ads, after a decision made by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). According to available information, the ad in question was pulled after the ASA reached a conclusion it was targeting those looking to unsubscribe from any form of gambling whatsoever. Casumo’s ad offered welcome bonuses to new players – which is something operators usually offer to attract more customers, but the biggest problem was that ad had appeared in searches for a way to quit gambling.
The ad said: “Welcome bonus to new players Casumo 100% and 20 free spins” and also invited people to “create an account & play now!”
Casumo Blames It on the Keywords
On the other hand, Casumo claims its ads were displayed based on the use of certain keywords in searches, such as “gambling”, “gambling sites”, or other gambling-related terms. The company pointed out there was a list of excluded terms and expressions whose goal was to prevent the ads from appearing in those combinations were used.
However, Casumo did admit the combination of words used by the complainant hadn’t been included in the aforementioned list.
Casumo explained that the term “unsubscribe” referred to a process of cancelling a subscription for receiving promotional and other advertising material via e-mail and that it wasn’t a usual term when it came to self-exclusion. The operator further said that keywords used by the complainant were more often associated with advertising, than gambling. Nevertheless, the Malta-based company did take immediate action following the ASA notice.
After Casumo was notified about the complaint, the search term that caused all the problems was added to the list of excluded terms. The operator emphasized it had made sure that no gambling ads were going to be shown to those looking to self-exclude themselves from visiting gambling sites.
The Ad Must Go
The ASA announced it had conducted a separate investigation, and reached a conclusion that people receiving gambling-related promotional and advertising material could choose to stop receiving such content. The advertising watchdog explained that customers could use a multi-operator self-exclusion option to limit the access to gambling sites and applications, or could utilize software that restricts access to those sites.
The ASA announcement also stated the problematic search phrase “hot to unsubscribe from all gambling” would likely be used by both those seeking more information about the ways to stop receiving gambling-related advertising material, and those looking to literally “unsubscribe from gambling” or self-exclude themselves from visiting gambling websites in the United Kingdom.
Casumo wasn’t hit with a fine, since it was quick to react, immediately adding the search phrase to the list of excluded terms, thus preventing the problem from repeating in the future. However, Casumo will have to pull the aforementioned ad, as the advertising authority believes that people looking to self-exclude themselves from gambling will likely “see such a gambling ad in a different way”. That’s why the ad will not be allowed to appear in the form that caused all this commotion.
“We acknowledged that on receipt of the complaint Casumo had immediately taken action to address where their ads were served.
“However, because we considered there was a strong possibility that vulnerable consumers seeking to prevent exposure tombling ads and access to gambling websites might have been served a gambling ad following a search for ‘how to unsubscribe from all gambling’, we concluded that the ad had not been responsibly targeted.”
Casumo had a rough debut in the UK market, as the operator was hit with a massive £5.8 million penalty for not implementing failsafe systems detect problem gamblers.