The Responsible Gambling Trust (RGT) - a UK gambling charity - has recently come under fire from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for a gambling addiction awareness advert that the ASA deemed would "likely cause serious or widespread offense."
The ad in question was a cinema promo that was only shown before the film Trainspotting 2. It featured a young woman sitting on her bed looking distressed while a much older man sat on a desk in the corner of the room and delivered a creepy monologue to the woman, which included lines like: "It's just a bit of fun. Remember that rush," and "The best feeling you ever had. Your words, 'it was perfect', you said it was." and "Don't tell me you don't remember that."
After the man speaks, the young woman gets up from her bed and goes over to the desk, where there is now a laptop instead of the man, and she signs into a bingo game. The screen then shows the logo for BeGambleAware.org.
When questioned about their ad, the RGT explained that the ominous male character was supposed to be a figment of the victims imagination and a metaphor for the "insidious, corruptive nature of a creeping, nagging gambling problem."
The ASA said that it noted the advertiser's intention, but found that for most of the ad "this purpose was ambiguous and unclear."
Even some viewers were upset by the ad, with one viewer expressing that they found it "predatory" and "sexually abusive."
Although it had been the RGT's intention to create an uncomfortable ad so it would be unforgettable, the organization obviously failed to effectively execute its message. As a result, the ad has been pulled by the RGT, who apologized for the unintentional offensiveness of its ad, which it will no longer show in its current form.