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ASA Orders Rank to Remove Mecca Bingo Instagram Post Featuring Drag Artist

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said that the post showed a person with "a higher level of confidence and an enhanced self-image," and the text said that playing bingo could help someone feel better about their own image.

ASA Orders Rank to Remove Mecca Bingo Instagram Post Featuring Drag Artist
ASA Orders Rank to Remove Mecca Bingo Instagram Post Featuring Drag Artist

Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) told Rank Group's Mecca Bingo to take down an Instagram post featuring a famous drag star.

The picture showed the famous drag queen Baga Chipz, and the text, "A good game can transform you! Don’t you just love that post-bingo glow. Over 18s only. BeGambleAware.org. DrinkAware.co.uk. Ts&Cs apply. #letaplaymeccabingo #meccabingo #winning #bingo #winningfeeling #feelinggood"

Two complaints were sent to the ASA questioning whether the ads violated the CAP Code by saying that gaming can improve self-image or self-esteem.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said that the post showed a person with "a higher level of confidence and an enhanced self-image," and the text said that playing bingo could help someone feel better about their own image.

The authority also said that a term that said "A good game can transform you!" The terms "winning," "winningfeeling," and "feelingood" suggested that winning at bingo would make people feel better about their own self-worth.

“We acknowledged that the ad featured well-known drag queen Baga Chipz and that the two images, combined with a reference to being transformed, would have been interpreted by some viewers to be a reference about drag queens. 

“We still considered the overall impression of the ad, particularly through the contrasting images, suggested gambling could improve an individual’s self-image or self-esteem.”

Mecca Bingo said that the ad was meant to "convey that their services were fun and entertaining," not to imply that gaming might make people more capable individuals or boost their self-esteem or image.

"A post-bingo glow" was meant to be a metaphor for the use of a before and after image. The word "transform" was added as a reference to the drag entertainment industry and RuPaul's Drag Race UK, where Baga Chipz became famous.

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