UK advertising regulators have barred an on-line gambling company from promoting its service by encouraging potential customers to place bets on the likelihood of particular airlines' collapsing.
In an adjudication released today the Advertising Standards Authority criticises the Internet-based gambling site, Paddy Power, ruling that it "unfairly discredited" carriers identified in its advertising campaign.
The ruling says Paddy Power considered this betting market "legitimate" after receiving requests for betting odds on airlines' collapsing. But the authority points out that these odds were based only on the amount of money being wagered.
It says that the betting market "inevitably suggested" that airlines identified in the advertising were at risk of entering administration.
"Because the [advertisement] suggested that the named airlines, particularly those with the shortest odds, might go into administration we concluded it unfairly discredited those businesses," the authority adds.
In its adjudication banning the advertisement the authority states that one complaint was received over the advertisement, but it does not identify the source.
Scottish-based operator Flyglobespan, however, had been strongly irritated by its being featured among the airlines identified on the on-line gambling site and moved to deny vehemently any financial problems through a public statement.