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Sportsbet’s ‘Roid into Android’ ad banned, in breach of standards

Mon, Jun 5, 3:00pm by Staff Writer

Online bookmaker Sportsbet have had their controversial TV commercial banned after the Advertising Standards Bureau found that it was in breach of advertising standards on Monday.

The ad, which caused a massive stir when it was released, features Olympic drug cheat Ben Johnson, weightlifters, Chinese swimmers, and even mentions disgraced Cyclist Lance Armstrong, will be pulled from both pay and free-to-air TV and social media.

Television networks reported that there were several complaints about the ad, which led Federal Sports Minister Greg Hunt and the Australian Sports Anti-doping Authority to call for it to be banned.

Johnson – who was stripped of his 100m gold medal at the Seoul Olympics after testing positive to anabolic steroids – was paid somewhere in the vicinity of $200,000 to appear in the ad.

The “putting the roid into Android” ad included a series of doping related puns, and while Sportsbet has defended itself against over 150 complaints, claiming that the ad is meant to be comical in nature, they lost their battle.

Sportsbet has been given the opportunity to modify the commercial, which is advertising the bookmaker’s new Android phone app, before it returns to air.

This news comes after Prime Minister Malcolm announced early last month that the government will be banning gambling advertising before 8:30pm during live sporting events, and for five minutes before and after the start of play.

There is of course the glass half full approach, as the media stir that has arisen from this means that far more people will have seen the ad than would have otherwise been the case.

Here’s one more look at the ad before it’s pulled from YouTube:

WATCH: Sportsbet’s banned Android ad

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