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National lottery suggests you’re more likely to win a game than find your missing cat in 'heartless' advert

‘Hoping your missing cat will turn up when you live next to the A202… No chance! But go to GameStore for a 1in 4 chance of winning’

Charlie Atkin
Tuesday 08 March 2016 17:46
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'Heartless' National Lottery Advert

A National Lottery advert has sparked outrage amongst animal lovers after suggesting player are more likely to win than find a missing cat.

Opening on a busy road, the advert shows a woman putting up a ‘Missing’ poster for her cat George. The words ‘No chance’ then appear before cutting to the woman playing a virtual scratch card on her phone, where we are told the odds of winning are one in four.

Defended as ‘tongue in cheek’, the advert has left animal-loving viewers unamused, with many of them voicing their displeasure on The National’s Lottery’s Facebook page.

Complaints over the clip range from calling the advert ‘horrible’ to ‘heartless’, however some viewers bemoaned the lack of sense of humor in the advert's reception.

Camelot, operators of the lottery, released a statement saying the ad was ‘not to be taken too seriously’.

The Advertising Standards Authority confirmed to Buzzfeed News that the advert in question has received 70 complaints so far.

In their statement, Camelot also apologised to anyone who had been offended.

‘The ad in question is one of a series of six different ads for our GameStore range of instant win games,' the company said.

‘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.

‘The ad in question is entirely fictionalised and no cats actually appeared in it.

‘Nonetheless, we are aware that a small number of people are unhappy about the ad and we’re really sorry if we’ve unintentionally caused any offence or distress.

‘We will certainly pass their feedback to the relevant teams here.’

Cats Protection, a UK feline welfare charity, said the subject of the advert ‘was no laughing matter’.

"Every year we reunite 3,000 lost or missing cats with their owners, however there are many more cats that are never found which causes a great deal of distress and heartbreak to their owners," the charity said.

We would encourage the National Lottery to remove the advertisement immediately because the loss of a cat is no laughing matter for anyone who is concerned about cats and their welfare.”

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