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Camelot ad investigation highlights stringent marketing rules

The attention to detail required to appease the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has been highlighted by Camelot’s response to complaints made in relation to its recent set of National Lottery adverts.
Three adverts have been cleared after 24 individual complaints challenged the idea that the advert suggested participation in the national lottery could be a solution to financial concerns.
The advertisements, aired in September, all depict the same scenario of a family who win a substantial prize on the lottery and use the winnings to buy a new house.
The longest of the ads, which lasts 120 seconds, begins with a fisherman leaving his home early in the morning to go to work while his family are still asleep. His wife purchases a lottery ticket followed by a shot of her entering a solicitor’s office.
The fisherman returns home to find an empty house; his family has relocated following their lottery win and subsequent property purchase.
The second and third advert, which lasted 60 and 30 seconds respectively, show a more heavily edited version of the first advert depicting the same scenario.
In response to the complaints, Camelot emphasised the attention to detail that was employed during the advert to show that the lottery is not a solution to financial issues.
They stressed that the advert was intentionally shot on location in a working fishing village and their intention was to depict a hard working family going about their daily lives. The advert shows the family having the good fortune to win a National Lottery prize, enabling them to purchase a new home in the same village.
To dispel any ideas that the lottery could being used as an alternative solution to working, Camelot explained that there had to be a strong emphasis upon the fisherman enjoying working on the trawler, shown through his high spirits during breakfast with colleagues.
Modifications were carried out on the original home to ensure that the state of the home would not infer financial difficulty for the family. In the entrance to the new home, Camelot points out that there were new pairs of fisherman’s overalls indicating an intention of the fisherman returning to work.
Camelot defended the advert’s conclusion, stating that the new home was “fairly modest by comparison to a large lottery win”, and that the purchase of property was among the most common purchases for lottery winners.
The attention to detail confirms that Camelot has not intended to suggest the National Lottery is a solution to financial difficulty, but rather wants to show the life-changing effects the lottery has on people’s’ lives.
The ASA considers the adverts to depict a working family trying to balance the demands of work and family life. They ruled that Camelot has not implied that the lottery could be a solution to financial concerns.
They added: “We therefore considered that ad (a) had not implied that participating in the lottery had been a solution to financial concerns for the family featured, or that doing so could be a solution to financial concerns for others.”

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