National Lottery was reprimanded this month over an placed advert

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The National Lottery is owned and operated by Camelot; a global company that gives people the chance to become millionaires – what’s not to love? Gambling in any way shape or form is strictly for adults, but with one exception; lottery and scratchcards can be purchased by those aged 16 years and over – not younger, so why was an advert placed outside of a school?

Scratch and Win Advert Sees ASA Stepping In

A huge poster promoting Camelot’s Rainbow Riches £2 scratchcard, bearing the words; “Scratch and See… Top prize £50,000 Lucky Fortune … 7 CHANCES TO WIN! £2” was placed directly opposite a school – which led to a complaint being made to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) from a member of the public, who questioned whether the poster was placed in such a way, as to attract those under 16 years of age, to gamble.

The complaint, assessment and call to action findings from ASA are displayed below.

The Response

“Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd t/a National Lottery said that their policy was that National Lottery ads should not be placed within 100 metres of a school. The ad was placed using a database which was supposed to identify and remove schools from potential locations using postcode data. Camelot confirmed that, on this occasion, the postcode database failed to identify the school. Camelot took action to address this by ensuring the ad had been removed and they now used a different database tool which looked at the geographical boundaries of schools, rather than postcode data, to ensure that ads were not placed within 100 metres of a school.”

Assessing the Complaint


The CAP Code stated that marketing communications for lotteries should not be directed at those aged under 16 years through the selection of media or context in which they appear.

The ad was for a National Lottery scratch card which was placed directly outside the entrance of a school. The ASA was concerned by the proximity of the poster to the school and considered that the audience of the ad would likely be significantly skewed towards under-16s and because of that it was directed at children through the context in which the ad appeared. We therefore considered that the placement of the ad breached the Code.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule   (Lotteries).”

CTA: Call to Action

“The ad must not be displayed again in close proximity to a school. We told Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd t/a National Lottery to ensure that their lottery ads were not directed at children under 16, including that they were not displayed in close proximity to a primary or secondary school.”