An advert for William Hill has been banned for linking gambling to sexual success.

On Wednesday, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned the advert, which originally appeared on the dating app Tinder.

The advert, which was included with a link to download the betting firm’s app, previously read: "Stuck in the friend zone? You won't be for much longer if you use this Cheltenham free bet offer”.

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However, the ASA has said the advert must not appear again in its current form.

The authority explained that the advert’s text suggested that those who gambled would be more likely to develop a friendship into a sexual relationship

The suggestion goes against the UK code of non-broadcast advertising’s rules that gambling adverts must not “link gambling to seduction, sexual success or enhanced attractiveness”, which is overseen by the ASA.

The betting firm initially defended the advert, which was first published in March, after a reader complained it broke advertising rules.

William Hill said customers who signed up to the app would "enter into a relationship with William Hill", and the advert was supposed to relate this to Tinder's business.

The company said it was not their intention to link gambling to sexual success.

However, it agreed that on reflection the advert could be interpreted differently.

Meanwhile, Tinder said that they had reviewed the advert to ensure its content was not socially irresponsible, offensive or targeting minors, and published it on their platform after it passed their screening.

A representative from William Hill said: "We take on board what the ASA have said about this particular advert and have removed it from circulation."

Last month, a whisky advert featuring a man jumping off a mountain was banned by the ASA for promoting “dangerous and daring behaviour”.

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Scottish whisky brand The Macallan unveiled the advert as part of a new campaign in December 2018.

However, UK's regulator of advertising, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has deemed the advert “irresponsible” and ruled it must not appear again in its current form.

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