The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a number of complaints made against the Health Lottery over “misleading” claims about the size of its jackpot in a Facebook advertisement.
The complaints stem from a Facebook post made by the Health Lottery on 22 January this year, which stated: “You know what they say five chances to win is better than one, that’s why we run five weekly draws! What’s more, each draw has a jackpot of up to £100,000 – that means that there is a potential half a million pounds up for grabs week in week out! … Up to £500,000 can be won every week.”
Three complaints were made to the ASA, with the complainants saying they “understood that the jackpot was usually significantly lower than £100,000” and challenged whether “claims ‘up to £100,000 jackpot’ and ‘up to £500,000 every week’ were misleading”.
In its defence, the Health Lottery told the ASA it had been using the “up to £100,000 claim in their ads since the lottery commenced operation in October 2011” and said that while it could not guarantee £100,000 prizes for every draw due to a rule in the Gambling Act 2005, that figure was still a “realistic expectation” for players.
Despite the Health Lottery’s protestations, the ASA said in its assessment that “there had been no winners of that amount [£100,000] since February 2015 when five weekly draws had been introduced”. It therefore considered the claim “’up to £100,000’ no long represented a realistic amount that was likely to be won as a jackpot prize.”
The ASA upheld the three complaints and said the advert breached three CAP codes, including rule 3.1 around misleading advertising. The Health Lottery have been told not to run the advert again in its current form. The ASA also told the Health Lottery “not to exaggerate the likely winnings available in the lottery” again.
It is not the first time that the Health Lottery has fallen foul of the advertising watchdog. The ASA have upheld at least two complaints against the lottery operator in recent years; most recently in August 2016, when the watchdog sanctioned the Health Lottery for a TV advert which suggested it had “more winners” than the National Lottery.
The Health Lottery has been contacted for a comment.