Coral TV ad banned for linking gambling to seduction

A TV ad for bookmaker Coral, featuring a woman wearing a jockey's outfit, has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority for linking gambling to seduction.

The ad, by DLKW Lowe, shows two men reading the Racing Post in a barber shop, when music starts and a woman struts in dressed as a jockey. As she walks past the two men, she stops to close one's gaping jaw with her whip.

A voiceover then says, "Get ready for today’s great offer," and the woman holds a sign bearing the odds for a horse in an upcoming race. One of the men then places a bet on Coral mobile app.

A single complainant argued that the ad linked gambling to seduction, which goes against UK advertising rules.

Gibraltar-based Coral claimed that, while its ad made use of an attractive female character, it "did not consider that it linked gambling with seduction, sexual success or enhanced attractiveness". It added that the female "not flirt with or seduce the men and there was no suggestion that the men would be more attractive or sexually successful after betting".

However, the ASA ruled that the manner of the woman’s entrance placed an immediate emphasis on her sexual attractiveness, with the camera angle focused on her knee-high boots and then cutting to show tight jodhpurs, a whip and a jersey cut to reveal her midriff.

The ASA said: "Viewers would be likely to understand the men's reactions to the woman's presence as being signs of their attraction to her, rather than excitement at the odds she held up on a card at one point in the ad."

The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form, the ASA ruled.

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