July 5, 2023 3 min read

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ASA Finds Ladbrokes Ad with Jake Paul “Irresponsible”

The operator submitted a poll via Twitter which captured the attention of the Advertising Standards Authority

An ad that featured the famous YouTube star and boxer, Jake Paul, captured the attention of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the UK’s regulator in charge of advertising. In a post on Twitter from February, the leading betting and gaming operator, Ladbrokes, submitted a poll asking the audience to predict what can Paul expect after he lost a fight due to a split decision against Tommy Fury.

In the post, Ladbrokes wrote: “TommyTNTFury beat JakePaul by split decision last night. So, we’ve got to ask the question… What’s next for Jake Paul? Vote here now [downward pointing finger emoji].” Then, at the bottom of the post, the operator submitted a poll with the options: “Win the re-match”, “Head to the MMA”, “Return to YouTube”, and “Join the WWE.”

In light of the post, the ASA sought to determine if Ladbrokes used a personality that may appeal strongly to customers under the legal gambling age which is 18. Under the current gambling advertising regulations, restrictions are implemented that seek to prevent any gambling operator from using images, personalities, faces or other methods in ads that can appeal to anyone under the legal gambling age.

The Ad Was Irresponsible, Says the Authority

Upon reviewing the ad, the ASA explained that the CAP Code clearly prohibits any communications for gambling products from being appealing to children. Despite boxers being a part of a sport that is mostly adult-oriented, the ASA said that such personalities can be considered as a “moderate risk in terms of how likely they were to be of strong appeal to under-18s.”

The Authority explained that Paul has a strong presence within multiple social media platforms with some of his followers under the legal gambling age. Approximately 3 million people were registered under the age of 18 as followers of the boxing star via TikTok and YouTube. Despite that, an overwhelming majority of his fans remain within the legal age, said the ASA.

Still, given Paul’s strong presence on social media and his participation in a TV program called Bizaardvark between 2016 and 2018, the ASA concluded that the “ad was irresponsible and breached the Code.” As a result, the Authority urged Ladbrokes not to include persons or characters that may have an appeal to persons under 18 and said that the ad “must not appear again in its current form.”

Once Ladbrokes was aware of the ASA’s probe, the company said that the ad didn’t offer any promotions or links to its website. Additionally, the operator argued that its feed on Twitter is protected by a restriction that doesn’t allow anyone under the age of 18 to access it. The operator said that upon posting the poll it was aware that Paul didn’t have a “significant role in boxing or general profile within the sport,” making him more appealing to audiences that are over the legal gambling age.

Journalist

Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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