Gala Bingo TV Ad Banned Over Illegible Text
- Updated: September 23rd, 2018
The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have banned a Gala Bingo TV ad over complaints that the on-screen text was not legible. The ad, which aired in February 2017, featured a voice-over that stated that players could win a total of £5,000 in Gala Bingo’s weekly final chase games, and that they would have the chance to take part in a special quiz night. The on-screen text, displayed at the bottom of the screen, stated that the offer was only valid for players over 18 years of age and the offer would run until 25th February 2017, and also featured information such as which qualifying games were included and details about free bonuses and tickets.
The complaint against the ad was made by a user who claimed that they could not read the on-screen text, and found the advert to be misleading. Ladbrokes Coral-owned Gala Bingo insisted that the advert was in line with the BCAP Code rules and not just met, but exceeded the requirements for subtitles in TV adverts, as the text was 57 pixels high and displayed for a total of 17 seconds.
Clearcast, an organisation responsible for the pre-approval process of most television advertising on the territory of the UK, sided with Gala Bingo, stating that the text was clear and distinct enough, and confirmed that the advert met BCAP Code requirements. However, the Advertising Standards Authority reviewed the ad and found that while the text was indeed 57 pixels high, the font width was compressed in a manner that made the words difficult to read, and the background of the text was also unflattering. They concluded that the text was not clear enough and that consumers could easily miss the information displayed in the subtitles, and declared that the Gala Bingo advert had breached BCAP Code rules 3.1 and 3.2 related to Misleading advertising and 3.11 related to Qualification. The ASA banned the ad, telling Gala Bingo that it must not appear in that form again, and recommended Gala Interactive to present their information in a clearer fashion in the future.