Process Fun of the Week: When an advert reaches the wrong audience…

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Sam Miranda

In an embarrassing administrative and compliance gaffe, TV company Turner Broadcasting and gambling company Coral screened a gambling advert on two children’s channels.

A BBC report reveals that the Coral advert was shown nine times across the Cartoon Network and Boomerang channels between 06:42 and 08:42 on Saturday 25 May.

Seven viewers complained about the advert, which featured the Incredible Hulk and opened with the line "This is Coral gaming, online and on mobile". The use of the popular superhero added credence to claims it was trying to indoctrinate punters of the future.

Is this the newest market segment for online gambling?

Regulatory body the Advertising Standards Authority said the screening was a clear violation of broadcasting code which prohibits gambling adverts, "in or adjacent to programmes commissioned for, principally directed at, or likely to appeal particularly to audiences below the age of 18 years".

The gambling industry entered into a voluntary agreement not to screen adverts before the 21:00 watershed in 2010.

The ASA claims that Turner has expressed sincere remorse over the mistake, whilst Coral said it was "horrified". It is thought that a bumbling Turner worker assigned the incorrect booking number onto the ad, causing a mishap in scheduling. Turner admitted it would be putting in a mistake-proofing system to ensure there is no repeat incident.

Coral adverts were suspended on the network over the weekend of 25 May, but have since been re-instated.

For Coral, part of the nationwide Gala Coral Group, the palaver constitutes the second piece of negative PR in 2013. In January, it admitted that not all of its workers were familiar with SOPs with regards to betting markets. The revelation came to light when the bookmaker refused to pay out on a punter’s £1 bet at 485-1 because his "anytime scorecast" slip shouldn’t have been accepted by staff.

Sam Miranda is a part-time PEX contributor, and is now senior editor at Right Casino Media blogging on the gaming industry.