Sportsbet Defends Controversial Ad

Ben H / 11 May 2023

Sportsbet has rejected claims that its new ad creates a link between wagering success and sexual attractiveness, calling the accusations “excessive” and “baseless.”

The ad shows a punter winning a same game multi and receiving an award for his achievement, with the voiceover saying “feels like you’ve finally made it.”

A Humorous Analogy that Has Been Taken Too Seriously

Australia’s Ad Standards Community Panel ruled that Sportsbet’s advertisement breached the Wagering Advertising and Marketing Communication Code.

The Community Panel concluded that the bookie glorified gambling and suggested that winning a bet would result in enhanced sexual attractiveness.

The Panel did admit, though, that the ad didn’t make any promises of winning bets.

Sportsbet rejected the Panel’s ruling and asked for an independent review instead.

The bookie said that the ad contained “no reference or element” that created a link between sexual success and wagering.

What it did depict was a bettor who scored a winning same-game multi with Sportsbet.

What transpired later in the ad, the bookie argued, was only a parallel between the emotions punters experience when winning a wager and the feelings one might get at an awards ceremony.

Moreover, the absurd nature of the ad, Sportsbet claimed, in which the bettor is wearing a tuxedo shirt with shorts and thongs, showed that the bookie’s fictional and humorous analogy was nothing more than a parody of an Oscars ceremony.

Sportsbet Suspends Distribution of the Ad

The Panel looked at things depicted in the ad differently, though, claiming the man was initially sitting alone on the couch, but was accompanied by a woman after winning the bet.

That, the Community Panel concluded, was a link between betting success and sexual attractiveness.

Sportsbet will now seek an independent review of the Panel’s decision.

In the meantime, it will stop distributing the ad and wait for the independent review to produce an outcome.

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Ben H
Ben Harris is the Communications Manager for KRUZEY, an AFL expert, and writer. He has one daughter that he loves dearly and four children's books... [Read full bio]

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