A TV ad for StarWins.com, seen on 17 January 2017, began with a shot of two men standing at a bar in a pub next to a table where a man and a woman were chatting to each other. One of the men at the bar watched a woman as she walked past before a
voice-over stated, Allow me to introduce you to Star Wins and one of the men pulled out his mobile phone and swiped the screen. The men were transported to a casino. The camera panned from a woman in a sequined dress dancing on a stage to
the men as they walked down a flight of stairs. As they reached the floor of the casino the voice-over stated, For you card sharks we've got real female croupiers who can handle that as a woman wearing a sequined gold dress walked between
them. The men watched her as she walked towards and past them and turned to look behind them to continue watching her as she walked to join the other dancers on stage. The men smiled at each other and continued further into the casino. The
voice-over stated, Or if roulette is your thing, we'll put you in a spin 24/7 as the two men walked past a table where two female croupiers wearing tight, low-cut dresses stood with two female and one male gambler. The croupiers watched the
men closely as they walked past. The men then approached a roulette table where a female croupier stood, along with a group of mainly female gamblers. One of the men flipped a chip onto the table while staring intently at the croupier. The
voice-over continued, You'll be surprised where it can take you. Star Wins. Get in the game as the men were shown throwing chips into the air in celebration, surrounded by the group of women. A final shot showed them celebrating back at the
bar in the pub. The couple at the table next to the bar turned to smile at them.
1. One complainant, who felt the ad was sexist and objectified women, challenged whether the ad was offensive.
2. The ASA challenged whether the ad suggested that gambling could enhance personal qualities, and linked gambling to seduction, sexual success or enhanced attractiveness.
ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld
The ASA noted that all the casino employees seen in the ad were women and that the majority of the people present in the casino were women. While in the casino the men only interacted with each other or with women (rather than other men), and when
interacting with women in each case either the men or the women gave each other intense looks which suggested they were appraising them physically. We considered the ad put particular visual emphasis both on the generally high proportion of women
in the casino and on the physical attractiveness of the female casino employees to the two male protagonists.
We considered that the combination of those visual emphases with the voice-over specifically highlighting that Daily Star Wins (which provided only online casino services) employed real female croupiers, served to depict the presence of
physically attractive women as the key attraction of Daily Star Wins. We considered the ad therefore objectified women, and concluded it was likely to cause serious or widespread offence on that basis.
When the men were initially shown in the pub the only person who paid attention to them was the barman serving their drinks. We noted that in contrast, in the casino they exchanged intense looks with the female casino employees, a group of people
(mainly consisting of women) began to gather around them as they approached the roulette table, and that group had grown when they were shown winning and celebrating. We considered that all those aspects of the ad together created an impression
that the men's interest in and eventual success at gambling had gained them recognition and admiration, and made them more popular and attractive to women. We concluded the ad therefore suggested that gambling could enhance personal qualities, and
that it linked gambling to seduction and enhanced attractiveness.
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Bear Group Ltd t/a Daily Star Wins to ensure their ads did not cause serious or widespread offence through the depiction of or objectification of women. We also told them to ensure their
ads did not suggest that gambling could enhance personal qualities, or link gambling to seduction or enhanced attractiveness.