One of Australia’s newest online bookmaker, Neds, been forced to withdraw two of the site’s first five ads from Aussie airwaves. The bookmaker has dutifully plucked the two offending ads but continues to use the three remaining tongue-in-cheek advertisements. However, the company may be garnering more publicity from the banning of the ads than the commercial would have brought by themselves, as the controversy has created quite the buzz in the online gambling community.
The latest Neds ad removed from the airways and YouTube depicts a businessman in a suit pushing all of the floor buttons so that the frequent stops will give him extra time to peruse Neds and place his bets. The Australian Standards Bureau stated that the site’s ad was guilty of promoting excessive gambling. The ASB made similar remarks when the first Neds ad, a group of construction workers more occupied by the website than the house that they are building.
The group Financial Counseling Australia made complaints about all five promos, and spokeswoman Lauren Levin stated that the ads “Overstepped the mark of what is reasonable.” The ASB has dismissed any complaints on the three remaining ads and will allow Neds to continue using them. In the ads, Neds users are seen assisting their wife in the fitting room of a department store, a gentleman that allows a little old lady with a cart heaped with groceries to cut ahead of him in line and a bettor who receives a telemarketing call and tells guests its work, excusing himself to take the call in the other room. All three ploys are merely a way for the bettor to have more time to look over the odds and place bets on the website. All of the ads are meant to be humorous, but some critics suggest that it promotes out of control gambling.
The ASB has cleared Neds’ three remaining commercials to air, and the site will continue to profit from the publicity churned up by the removal of those two offending commercials; in fact, it is beginning to look like the entire situation will be viewed as a positive for the bookmaker, which has only been in business for approximately two months. In this case, the old mantra, “Bad publicity is better than no publicity at all” may actually prove to be true.