A complaint was made by the Gambling Reform & Society Perception Group about the advert, which appeared in the Daily Express. The headline said: “Mortgage? What mortgage?”, with the text underneath reading: “Now two chances to win £100k*…”.
The advert quoted a top prize of £100,000 and The Health Lottery, which uses ticket sales to support health causes, understood this was around the average mortgage value in the UK based on Credit Action’s debt statistics dated August 2012.
THL argued that offering options on how a lottery winner could spend their winnings was a standard advertising technique and in no way depicted participation in a lottery as a solution to financial concerns or a way to achieve financial security. However, the ASA disagreed.
Publishing its decision today, the ASA says: “We understood The Health Lottery considered the ad did not depict participation in a lottery as a solution to financial concerns and that it simply described an example of what a winner could do with their winnings.
“However, we disagreed. We considered that because the ad suggested that someone who had won the lottery could pay off their debts, the implication was that participation in the lottery was a way of solving financial concerns or achieving financial security.”
The ASA ruled the advert must not appear again in its current form.