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Merry Escape for Robin Hood Bingo from the ASA

  • 05 Sep 12
  • Written by Deena Chance

altRobin Hood and his Merry Men have had a lucky escape from the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) recently, when two complaints were investigated and overturned by the notorious watchdog.

A viewer who had seen one of the latest TV adverts lodged two complaints with the Authority. The first claimed that the ad was irresponsible as it was likely to attract the attention of minors, and the second challenged that the actresses featured were (or looked to be) under 25 years of age.

In their defence, Robin Hood Bingo claimed no code had been breached as the advert was intended to appeal to an older target audience (housewives in particular), and therefore featured an Errol Flynn-style actor in the role of Robin in an attempt to recapture the essence of the 1930’s Hollywood film. The dialogue and interaction between our Sherwood Forest hero and his ladies was also based on the look and feel of the original film, and hence the women were referred to as “ladies,” hinting that they were certainly well above the legal age requirement. RBH went on to state that the medieval-style dresses and swooning reactions to the swashbuckling Robin were also far more recognisable and appealing to an older, rather than younger generation. The ASA agreed on these points and also concurred with Clearcast’s statement that Robin Hood was not a fairytale character, but a real-life legend, and was therefore, unlikely to appeal to minors.

On the point of the actresses appearing to be underage, a copy of the casting brief for the advert showed that the females should be “aged 28-35” and that the two women who were finally cast in the roles were aged 27 and 29, as proved by their dates of birth. RBH also pointed out that their 18+ policy was displayed on-screen during the commercial. The Advertising Standards Authority noted that both actresses were of a suitable age, and that the medieval styling which required minimum make-up did not make them appear to be under 25.

As a result, both complaints were not upheld, and Robin Hood was set free to trot back to his forest home, and continue his mission to “share the riches” with his bingo players.If you’ve seen the Robin Hood Bingo commercial in question, what did you think of it? Have you ever seen any land-based or online gambling advertising that you think would wrongly appeal to children? If so, what do you think should be done about it?

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