UK Bans PokerStars TV Ad about Bluffing in a Home Game

pokerstars-ad-banned-ukThe UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) recently banned a PokerStars TV advertisement.

The commercial had been running on UK television for the past few months. But the ASA suggests that the ad portrays poker as a game where the average player can win.

The organization notes: “Excelling at poker required a combination of strategy, skill and luck and that, in order to regularly succeed at bluffing opponents, players would need to have an understanding of all these aspects in addition to real game experience.”

PokerStars Commercial Depicts Man “Bluffing Anyone”

Running since October 2017, the TV ad shows a recreational poker player bluffing his friends in a home game. The ASA takes exception to the fact that PokerStars mentions how “if you can bluff yourself, you can bluff anyone.”

Here’s an excerpt from the commercial:

“Here you are, the moment when bluffing is the only way to win – you’re freaking out kiddo. But think about all those times you bluffed yourself.

“Like the pull-up bar waiting for you to get back in-shape. That book you’re definitely going to read, your parents never ever had sex. Use that talent because if you can bluff yourself, you can bluff anyone. Pokerstars, you’re already a great poker player.”

The ASA’s complaint was upheld by after being deemed to have violated the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP Code).

PokerStars Unhappy with the Decision

Not surprisingly, PokerStars feels that their commercial is a harmless attempt at humor that isn’t hurting anything. They note that there isn’t any “reference to or suggestion of any financial reward or inducement to play and no money was shown during the ad.”

Stars goes on to state that their ad in no ways implies that anybody can beat poker. Nor do they admit to trying to convince players that they can bluff opponents with ease.

PokerStars is just one of several companies that have recently dealt with the ASA’s wrath over gambling related commercials.

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