Matched betting service Profit Accumulator has fallen foul of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after two of its Instagram posts were deemed ‘irresponsible’ by the watchdog.
The two posts, shown on 22 March 2019 and 11 April 2019 respectively, came under review after a complainant believed ‘the ads suggested that matched betting could be a way to achieve financial security’.
In its ruling, the ASA emphasised that the two adverts in question ‘must not appear again in their current form’.
The Instagram post on 22 March included an image, with the superimposed text ‘COLOSSAL WIN 2,380.50’ alongside the text ‘Absolutely amazing win from one of our members 12 minutes ago’. This was accompanied by a number of hashtags, including ‘#makemoney #makingmoney #income #makemoneyfromhome #extraincome’.
Meanwhile, the post from April included a review that stated: “In 1 month I have gone from a person struggling to stay afloat who is worrying about their MOT, bills etc to completely flipping my financial position. Could not have got to this position without match betting and without the guidance of Profit Accumulator”.
The hashtags next to the post included: “#workingfromhome #workingfromhomejobs #workingfromhome #earnmoney #earnmoneyonline”.
Responding to the complaint, Profit Accumulator emphasised that ‘the purpose of their service was to assist members by taking advantage of free bets and promotions by bookmakers to bet on all outcomes of a potential bet, and therefore ensure profit, amongst other exploitable loopholes’.
It added that the post shown in March, ‘the text “COLOSSAL WIN 2,380.50” was a screenshot provided by a member of a genuine win from a slots offer using a “free spins” offer’. Meanwhile, both adverts featured the hashtags ‘because matched betting did provide a way to make extra money, but they did not consider that the hashtags suggested that the product was an alternative to full-time employment’.
The ASA ruling said: “We noted that Profit Accumulator considered that their service was to provide consumers with information on promotional offers, as well as directing them to particular bets and allowing them to figure out how much needed to be wagered.
“Although we acknowledged that some consumers who made use of the service provided by Profit Accumulator would be exposed to gambling services, Profit Accumulator’s service was not itself gambling. However, we considered that the purpose of the service was to facilitate gambling and we, therefore, assessed the ads with that in mind.
“Although we acknowledged that Profit Accumulator’s service was not itself gambling, we considered that using it would place consumers into a position where they would be interacting with gambling services, which we considered was irresponsible for consumers who may decide to use it to pay debts or as an alternative to employment.”