Categories: advertising

Disgraceful Lottery Advert Claims That There Is a Better Chance Of Winning a Lottery Game Than Finding a Lost Cat

Cat lovers, indeed anyone who respects animals, are up in arms about a YouTube advert put out by the National Lottery in which they show a woman fixing a poster of her lost cat on a lamppost followed by the caption “No Chance”. Then the advert claims that there is a one in four chance of winning something on one of their Game Store’s instant win games.

Lottery game 1 in 4 chance of winning

Los cat – no chance of finding him/her

No matter how you look at it, the advert is insensitive. For me, the advert is implying that the person’s cat has been killed on the busy road and therefore there is no chance of finding him again other than dead.

I’m not the only person who finds the advert insensitive and disrespectful of the domestic cat. There have been about 70 complaints made to the watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority over the YouTube campaign.

Not only have there been many complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority there have also been many criticisms on social media. For example, on the National Lottery’s Facebook page visitors have described the campaign as “disgraceful”, “disgusting” and “cruel”.

The point that they are making is that when a person loses a beloved cat companion they are losing a family member. There is a lot of heartache. There is distress and sadness which can go on for a very long time. The truth is a good cat caretaker never really get over the loss of a cat companion. Therefore it is not something to be part of an amusing campaign to sell gambling tickets. It is not something to laugh about — the advert is insensitive and heartless.

People are asking that the advert be pulled. One visitor Sarah Hopkins writes:

“You advert featuring a missing cat is disgraceful and my opinion of your company is now zero.”

The National Lottery operator, Camelot, have stated that the ad is tongue-in-cheek. A spokeswoman said:

“The ad in question is one of a series of six different ads for our Game Store range of instant win games. Shown only on certain online channels and video-on-demand services, we wanted the campaign, which finishes this month, to come across as tongue-in-cheek and not to be taken too seriously.”

Camelot are aware of the backlash and apologise for unintentionally causing any offence or distress. They are passing the feedback to the “relevant teams” at their office.

The Advertising Standards Authority have confirmed that they are assessing whether there are grounds to investigate the campaign.

What do you think about the advert? Please leave a comment.

Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

View Comments

  • Extremely insensitive. I look at craigslist ads sometimes, and it's always heartbreaking to see lost cats ads.

  • I really don't care about some stupid lottery. I don't spend my money on any kind of gambling tickets.
    Even if my chances of finding a lost cat were only one in a million, I would choose to look for a cat over some stupid lottery ticket.

  • So insensitive to all of us but, especially, for those poor people desperately wanting their cat found.
    You're right. The message is most powerful in what it, actually, DOESN'T say which is that your beloved cat is gone forever and your seeking is fruitless.

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