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ASA dismiss complaint against bet365 ad

Updated on August 14, 2023
Written by Chris
ASA dismiss complaint against bet365 ad

The UK advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), has not upheld a complaint made against Hillside, trading as Bet365, which questioned whether an advertisement featuring boxer Chris Eubank Jr would appeal to under-18s.

The advertisement in question was a tweet, which the ASA saw in January 2023. Eubank Jr was featured in an image attached to the tweet with the caption: “It’s fight week! Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith will be Unleashed in Manchester. Click here for latest odds”.

The complaint argued that this breached new rules that prohibit betting operators from advertising with content that would have strong appeal for young people.

The authority questioned whether the ad would appeal to minors, due to the inclusion of Eubank Jr. If so, this would mean the ad infringed upon the ASA’s code of non-broadcast advertising, sales promotion and direct marketing – known as the CAP code.

Bet356 Response

In response, Bet365 stated that its social media channels were age-restricted to users aged 18 and over. It further explained that where it is not possible to age-verify, it ensures campaigns only target over-25s. Furthermore, all of Bet365’s social media channels have options to self-exclude.

For the complaint in question, it said that the advertisement was only displayed to users over the age of 25 and to those who had shown interest in related content.

The operator went on to say that it conducts live monitoring of individuals they use in marketing material, in order to ensure that their featuring in an ad would not be high risk. For this reason European footballers in the top leagues are excluded from ads.

Research conducted on Eubank Jr’s social media profiles found that a small percentage of his followers are registered as being under 18. The figures show that on Facebook 0.1% of his followers are registered as being under 18, with 0.3% in Twitter and 0.4% on Instagram.

In addition Bet365 made the point that Eubank Jr’s appearance in the ad would be considered low to moderate risk by the CAP code, due to the code classifying boxing as an adult-orientated sport.

ASA dismiss complaint

The ASA ultimately ruled that the complaint is not upheld, and no further action should be taken. They took into account Eubank Jr’s general appeal to under-18s, which they ruled was very little and stated that boxing was a sport geared more to adults. They concluded that the advert was not presented in a way that would appeal to under-18s.

The ad was investigated under CAP code rules 16.1, 16.3 and 16.3.12.

In April this year, the ASA banned an advert from BetVictor, featuring former Barcelona footballers Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets on the basis that it would strongly appeal to under-18s.

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Chris is a former athlete and a qualified PE teacher. He is a keen football fan, watching many matches at different levels throughout the season, and enjoys following many different sports. With betting and sports sites, he has a keen eye for detail and can to highlight positives and negatives for users. His experience in sport as a performer, teacher, writer and fan allows him to see things from many different perspectives.

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