Spreadbetting company accused of glamourising gambling

Britain's strict Advertising Standards Association has lowered the boom on another Internet betting company advertisement, upholding a single public complaint that an advert for spread betting firm ShortsandLongs.com glamourised gambling.

The advertisement showed a polished and confident man sitting between two attractive women, and was the subject of a complaint from a member of the public who claimed it referred to gamblers as "traders" and implied that gambling made men more attractive to women.

The ad for the website, which was launched in September 2008 as a way to trade financial markets through spread betting, bore the copy, "We believe all traders deserve privileges which is why we offer: Free guaranteed stops", and claimed to make spread betting more rewarding.

The reference to gamblers as traders claim was rejected by the ASA, but the controlling body upheld the criticism that the ad made men seem more attractive, saying the women in the picture were touching the man's arms intimately and that readers were likely to infer that one of the rewards of success in spread betting was enhanced attractiveness and increased sexual success.

ShortsandLongs.com spokesman Andy MacKenzie protested the ASA finding, saying that his company's activities actually reduce the risks of spread betting, and that it is leading the way in responsible gambling with free guaranteed stops so clients know exactly what they are risking with each trade rather than glamourising the pastime.

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