Latest Cases - July 2013

They call it doing a 'Lipsey'...

Good afternoon, friends,

In this issue of Punters’ Verdict

  • Tipsters promising profits – whatever next?
  • A good Lord gets involved…
  • Go quiet, avoid loud…
  • Do a ‘Lipsey’ and get your complaints in…

Tipsters promising profits – whatever next?

You have to feel a bit sorry for old Peter Naughton.

The regular ‘talking head’ on Racing UK also runs a tipping service – called the Ethical Edge. And the Advertising Standards Authority has just banned one of his advertisements on the grounds that it implies his service will help customers generate ‘long-term profits’.

It is a ruling that is sure to have plenty of other tipping services checking the content of promotional literature they go to market with.

The ASA said Naughton’s ad contravened sections of its CAP Code and that advertising for betting tipster services should not imply such services are very likely, or certain to, generate a profit.

As ads for tipping services go, I thought Naughton’s was a model of restraint. What do you think?

Peter Naughton the ethical edge CALL 0XXXX XXXXXX
If you are looking for long-term profits, Peter is the man to follow. The Ethical Edge is an extremely selective informative daily tipping service.’

Given some of the outlandish claims and outrageous promises I see tipsters make on a day-to-day basis, I wonder how Mr. Naughton’s rather conservative service – and its understated claims – came to the attention of the ASA in the first place.

A good Lord gets involved…

It seems Mr. Naughton should thank Lord David Lipsey, vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Betting and Gaming and member of the Starting Price Regulatory Commission. The honorable gentleman complained to the ASA about Naughton’s ad in his capacity as a private person.

It seems almost inconceivable that Lipsey, given his professional standing and interests, could take such issue with Naughton’s advertisement when there are so many other services out there going to market with advertisements that are basically bare-faced lies and outright fabrications.

Could it be that the good Lord is some kind of naive and innocent old buffer who truly believes Naughton’s advert to be some kind of outrageous attempt to hoodwink the betting public? If so then he can’t have seen many adverts for tipping services…

Or is there more to this than meets the eye?

We are certainly not suggesting that the esteemed gentleman has some kind of axe to grind but it is interesting to note that when making its ruling on the ad the ASA dismissed other claims that Naughton’s ads made unsubstantiated claims about the performance of his service selections…

We wonder who made the other claims. And we wonder what led to those claims being made. Surely the good Lord didn’t go to the ASA as a disgruntled former customer of the Naughton service?

We couldn’t possibly say because we don’t know. But you can see how it might look that way to the uneducated eye?

Go quiet, avoid loud…

As you know I spend a lot of time looking at tipping services, how they work and how they perform and I’m always most interested in those services that present themselves straightforwardly and honestly. I call them the ‘quiet boys’.

In my book the quiet boy approach to promotion counts for a lot.

  • When a service goes to market in a whirlwind of hype, lies, ridiculous claims and outrageous promises then it invariably turns out to be a rubbishy fly-by-night operation – one relying on sheer ‘volume’ and ‘dazzle’ to separate you from your cash.
  • When a service is understated and just tells me what it is, how it works and what the deal is – honestly and without the deranged and deluded nonsense – then it invariably turns out to be a service that is happy for its selections to speak for themselves; a service prepared to live and die on the strength of its performance. 

I always prefer the quiet service (they tend to be operated by genuine punters and enthusiasts) over the loud services (which tend to be operated by brash wide-boys in it to prey on the punter). 

The understated operations tend to be in it to provide a genuine service. The loud and obnoxious operations are generally in it to drain a few quid out of a punting fraternity they see as ‘mugs’, ‘losers’ and ‘fair game’. At least that’s been my experience.

I have no direct experience of Peter Naughton’s Ethical Edge service. But looking at his website, and calling on my years of experience covering the betting industry beat, I would take the view that he is definitely on the ‘quiet’ side of the tipping divide. And, as such, he can count himself unfortunate to have been highlighted by the ASA’s decision in the way he has been.

Do a ‘Lipsey’ and get your complaints in…

Surely there are any number of outright disreputable services and advertisements that the ASA could be looking at? The type of services that promise results and profits well above and beyond anything Peter Naughton’s advertisement implied?

We’ve looked at quite a few of them in this column over the last 18 months or so – all manner of liars, cheats, fabricators, fantasists, frauds, conmen and chancers.

How about bringing a few of them to book?

How about looking at some of the claims made in their promotional literature?

Some of the promises I’ve seen certain tipsters make are straight out of Fantasy Island. Yet they continue to make their claims year-on-year – posing with clapped out Rolls Royces, bragging about the wealth and possessions they’ve accumulated, promising the Earth and patently failing to deliver.

How about banning a few of their advertisements? How about getting on their cases?

The trouble is that the ASA will only act if someone does a ‘Lipsey’ and complains about a tipping service.

So next time you get nailed by a tipster – or the next time you see promotional claims that can’t possibly be realized – you know exactly what to do.

You need to make like Lord Lipsey and kick up one hell of a fuss with the ASA. You might not have his parliamentary clout but if you shout loud enough you may just get heard – and we might get some real shysters having their wings clipped as a result.

I’ll be back with the Verdict next week.

The Judge

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