An Austrian Senate ruling has concluded that two advertisements from Austrian Lotteries and Casino Austria breached the Austrian press code of honour after it was discovered that sponsored content was not earmarked, according to a report in Bet Companies.
The columns, written as editorial adverts, were published in Austrian newspapers Kronen Zeitung on 24 March and Kurier on 26 March 2021.
Whilst the two companies did label an editorial advert as such in Der Standard a few days previously, the Kronen Zeitung and Kurier stories were ruled to be identical but did not feature any such labels.
Under Austrian legislation, all advertised content must be pointed out to readers, however, Austrian Lotteries and Casino Austria covertly advertised their brands.
The articles were judged to be in breach of points three and four of the Austrian press code of honour, which calls for distinctness and impartiality in editorial content.
The content of the advertisements promoted charity work in Austria which is being supported by the two gambling companies, which includes support for the homeless.
The Senate concluded that the articles should have been marked as advertisements and that readers were misled by the articles’ presentation as editorial content. It also called upon the publications to acknowledge this decision.