December 21, 2022 3 min read

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ASA Asks Ladbrokes to Take Down a Tweet

The Advertising Standards Authority asked the Entain-owned Ladbrokes operator to take down a tweet featuring three soccer athletes. According to the authority, this post could have appealed to minors.

The Advertising Standards Authority was unhappy with a tweet by the sports betting operator Ladbrokes. According to the regulator, the bookmaker’s post breached the rules outlined in the Committee on Advertising Practice (CAP).

Ladbrokes Had to Take Down a Tweet Featuring Premier League Athletes

The tweet in question is actually a fairly old post from October. The company shared imagery featuring Jesse Lingard, Kalidou Koulibaly and Philippe Coutinho, three Premier League soccer players, with a background of question marks behind them. The post had the following caption: “Can these big summer signings make the question marks over their performances go away?”

While the post might seem pretty light-hearted and innocent, it may actually appeal to minors, according to the ASA. The authority noted that all three players enjoy strong popularity among the youth, which may incentivize minors to bet illegally.

As a result, the ASA determined that the tweet is in breach of the CAP rules and asked Ladbrokes to take it down.

Ladbrokes Argued That It Doesn’t Target Minors

Ladbrokes was fairly surprised that the ASA believes its tweet may incentivize wagering since it didn’t feature a promotion, and neither did it incentivize people to play. Furthermore, the post did not link to Ladbrokes’ website, making it a fairly safe tweet, in the operator’s opinion.

In addition, Ladbrokes reminded the regulator that its tweets cannot be accessed by Twitter users who are not verified as being older than 18. Moreover, Ladbrokes’ targeted marketing does not target people under the age of 25. To top it off, Ladbrokes backed its claims with Twitter data, confirming that the post only reached its target audience.

Despite this, the ASA insisted that Ladbrokes must take down the tweet.

Twitter Age-verification Is Not Very Reliable, the ASA Said

The new CAP standards were introduced in April and came into effect on October 1 this year – the same month when Ladbrokes’ tweet was shared. Under the new rules, celebrities that might appeal to minors should not be featured in gambling companies’ marketing campaigns.

Premier League soccer players fit the description of people with strong appeal to under-18s, which makes Ladbrokes’ tweet in breach of the CAP code.

Football was an activity in which a very significant proportion of under-18s participated directly on a frequent basis, and had a general interest in through following professional teams and players across a variety of media.

ASA statement

In spite of Ladbrokes’ limited marketing, the ASA insisted that Twitter’s age-verification systems are not very reliable and that many customers can circumvent them. As a result, it ordered to remove the ad and not re-use it in its current form.

Co-editor

Angel has a passion for all forms of writing, be it fiction or nonfiction. His curious nature gives him an ace up his sleeve when researching a new topic. Angel’s thirst for knowledge, paired with adaptability, always helps him find his way around.

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