British Airways is in hot water over a new ad for the BA Holidays service that appears to glamorize gambling; a number of complaints about the ad have been received by the Advertising Standards Association and those complaints are currently being assessed by a review board—though BA will likely apologize.
A new ad put out by British Airways for the airline’s BA Holidays service is getting the company in some hot water thanks to the subject matter. Critics—including anti-gambling advocates and members of parliament—say that the ad glorifies and glamorizes gambling.
In the ad, a couple is returning to their hotel room in a great mood, thanks to the fact that they went to the pool and then went to gamble at the hotel’s casino, leaving with a profit.
“We had a bit of spare change so we put it in the slot machines… and won a couple of dollars. So we put it back in and the next thing we knew we’d won $493. Luckiest dip ever,” the couple in the ad said, reported by The Drum.
Parliament members across party lines were equally upset by the ad, and are expected to contact the airline to apologize for what they call an irresponsible commercial, led by former conservative leader Duncan Smith.
The ad happened at a bad time for gambling advertising—commercials showing the habit have been widely criticized for influencing the vulnerable and underaged. In a case of terrible timing for British Airways, just weeks before this ad aired, the gambling industry [placed tighter restrictions on their own TV commercials.
In the wake of the controversy, British Airways has pulled the ad