Sky Bet ad found to be in breach of ASA regulations
The latest enforcement action taken by the ASA against a gambling firm involves an advertisement that appealed to minors by featuring a popular athlete who is likely to have a sizable following among younger people. The advertisement in question was a promoted tweet featuring a short video of sports pundit and former footballer Gary Neville talking about which club might be the winner of the Premier League on a podcast sponsored by the operator. Sky Bet’s logo appeared throughout the clip as well, in addition to the logo of gambling charity GambleAware, which was shown at the end of the video.
The regulatory authority challenged whether the promoted post was in violation of the country’s gambling advertisement laws by featuring someone that is likely to be popular among minors. In response to the ASA’s inquiry, Sky Bet stated that its advertisement was only targeted to users above the age of 25 and that it did not believe that Neville had a substantial following among minors. The company mentioned that it believed that the pundit was better known for being a political commentator and a businessman than an athlete. The operator further added that the podcast which the clip originated from is of an adult nature that would not appeal to minors in any way.
However, the regulator decided to order the takedown of the advertisement, stating that Neville’s career as a commentator for Sky Sports is likely to have given him a sizable following of minors. The ASA also stated that his work as a political commentator and a businessman was unlikely to appeal to minors, meaning that younger people would only know Neville from his punditry or sports career. Lastly, the regulator also mentioned that Sky Bet’s targeting of 25-year-old and older users cannot effectively stop the promotion from reaching minors due to Twitter’s subpar age verification systems.