Foxy Bingo has found itself having to defend one of its television adverts after a complaint was received and investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
The advert in question showed a rainy day at Brighton Pier before the bingo company’s trademark Foxy mascot put down his umbrella and invited everyone to join him inside by saying, “Come on, let’s get Foxy.” At this point the sun comes out and Foxy is joined by a crowd of holidaymakers in a dance routine to Get Happy. The group – who are all adults – are then seen enjoying themselves on a helter skelter, a merry go round and a rollercoaster. Foxy’s voice is heard over the music saying, “It’s non-stop fun at FoxyBingo.com. Giddy up Gertie, yee-hah, woohoo. Find your fun at FoxyBingo.com and get five quid free.”
Regulatory body ASA received one complaint about the advert. The ASA investigated whether the advert and the Foxy character in particular was likely to appeal to under-18s. The BCAP Code 17.4.5 states: Advertisements for gambling must not: 17.4.5 be likely to be of particular appeal to under-18s, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture
During the investigation it was noted that scheduling restrictions meant the ad would not be aired alongside material that was aimed at or likely to be enjoyed by under-18s. Similarities with the Foxy mascot and a character from children’s television series Peter Rabbit were acknowledged, however, it was agreed that Foxy’s mascot’s interaction with adults as well as his tone of voice and dancing style would not make children associate him with characters from the CBeebies series.
The ASA did not find that the advert in question would appeal to under-18s more than adults. Because of this the regulating body has not upheld the complaint as it did not breach any rules. That means the bingo operator is free to continue with its planned advertising campaign.