he TV commercial for the TAB mobile app was broadcast at around 7:22pm on October 7th and showed a man returning from a trip, placing his bags on the kitchen counter and being greeted by his girlfriend who asks him how his trip had been.
The man then reminisces on his trip, which involved a group of men on a camping/fishing trip looking at live and replay racing vision and racing form on their app.
The song "Always" by Bon Jovi plays over the scene. In response to his partner’s query about how his trip was, the man responds: “yeah…loved it.”
In early November, ASB ruled that the TV spot had breached Section 2.8 of the AANA Wagering Advertising and Marketing Communications Code, which says gambling marketing pitches “must not portray, condone or encourage excessive participation in wagering activities.”
“The ad implied that it would be “fun” and “sociable” to lie to your partner about gambling addiction. It glamorises gambling as a kind of pleasure that one could indulge in over a weekend, but come home unsuspected,” read a complaint.
“If someone had just such a need to get online for a whole weekend (as is implied by the ad), and then conceal that from their partner (as is implied by the ad), they would be suffering a serious gambling addiction,” the complaint continued
In a response to the complaints, Tabcorp said the advertisement was “not a depiction of a problem gambler concealing his gambling from his family,” and denied that it was “glamorizing” gambling.
While the ASB agreed the man in the ad was not depicted as disguising his gambling activities from his spouse, the Board did determined that the “overall suggestion” of the ad was “wagering takes priority in all aspects of the men’s weekend”.