Claims on www.marathonbet.co.uk, seen on 9 March 2016, promoted an offer for new customers for the Cheltenham Festival. Text stated, “NEW CUSTOMER OFFER … 2/1 WILLIE MULLINS TOP TRAINER …”. Smaller text underneath stated, “MAX BET £10. MINIMUM STAKE £5. ONLY £5 OF YOUR BET PAID AT 2/1 ODDS. ENHANCED PRICE PAID AS A FREE BET .”
The ASA considered that the text did not make adequately clear what the “enhanced price” and “free bet” claims related to and said that consumers participating in the offer would expect their winnings to be paid out in cash at the odds of 2/1.
Additionally, while it noted the terms and conditions were one click away on a linked webpage, the ASA considered that the fact that a portion of the winnings would be paid out as a free bet was a significant condition that could affect whether or not a consumer decided to take up the offer, and should therefore have been stated prominently within the ad itself. Because it was not, the ad breached CAP Code rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising), and 3.9 (Qualification). To read ASA Ruling on Marathon Alderney Ltd (13 July 2016), click here.