Ladbrokes Ad Violated ASA Standards

Betting group Ladbrokes has been censured by the UK Advertising Standards Authority over a spot that ran which featured a number of Premier League football players.

The ad was a tweet that ran in October, and showed a video reel that featured the players Philippe Coutinho, Jesse Lingard, and Kalidou Koulibaly. it ran with the text "Can these big summer signings make the question marks over their performances go away?"

The ASA used to have a standard that measured whether an ad had an appeal more toward children than adults, but the standard recently changed. The new standard is not to have celebrities or athletes that children may look up to.

For its part, Ladbrokes strongly disagreed that the ad was appealing to children. It said that the tweet was also only made available to those 18 or older. The company said that it received 50,666 impressions, with 0% impressions from those being under 20 years old.

That wasn't good enough for the ASA, who wrote: "We considered that it would have been acceptable for the ad to appear in a medium where under-18s, for all intents and purposes, could be entirely excluded from the audience. That would apply in circumstances where those who saw the ad had been robustly age-verified as being 18 or older, such as through marketing lists that had been validated by payment data or credit checking.

"We did not consider that marketing data inferred from user behaviour met that threshold."

"Because Twitter was a media environment where users self-verified on customer sign-up, and did not use robust age-verification, we considered that Ladbrokes had not excluded under-18s from the audience with the highest level of accuracy required for ads the content of which was likely to appeal strongly to under-18s"

The decision means that Ladbrokes cannot air the ad again and must change its practices for marketing via Twitter. Further infractions could result in penalties for the company.

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About the author

Therese Williams // UK Correspondent
Therese Williams
Therese is a fervent fan of slot machines and pub fruities, often trying her luck at some of the top online casinos. She covers news for Casino Listings with a focus on the UK and Europe. Therese studied arts and creative writing at university and has written for newspapers in the UK.


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