ASA raps Betfred for Anthony Joshua tweets

The ASA has made a spate of rulings against Twitter posts by betting operators.
The ASA has made a spate of rulings against Twitter posts by betting operators.

The UK advertising watchdog said the tweets had appeal to under-18s.

UK.- The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has found that three Twitter posts made by BetFred breached rules against using celebrities with appeal to under-18s. The posts on the platform named X featured the British boxer Anthony Joshua.

Two of the posts involved an interview with commentator Dom McGuinness. The third showed Joshua speaking about his mentality when he is fighting. BetFred said it had investigated Joshua and decided that he did not have a strong appeal to under-18s because he is coming to the end of his career. It also argued that it age-gates its social media channels. BetFred stressed that 0 per cent of Joshua’s followers on X, TikTok and Facebook were registered as between 13 and 17.

However, the ASA found that 6.6 per cent of Joshua’s followers on Instagram were registered as under 18. It also noted that Twitter has no reliable age verification. It also said that the CAP guidance states that “notable” figures in adult-oriented sports who had large social media followings presented a moderate risk of appeal to under-18s.

Last month, the Advertising Standards Authority criticised a Sky Bet Twitter post featuring former footballer Gary Neville. It said that the advert would appeal under 18s, putting it in breach of the CAP Code rules 16.1, 16.3 and 16.3.12.

The promoted post on X, the former Twitter, appeared on February 9. It featured a video clip from football podcast The Overlap in which Neville spoke about which team could win the Premier League.

As in previous rulings against Ladbrokes and Bet Victor, the ASA noted that age targeting on Twitter was unreliable since it relies on users to self-verify. It also noted that the Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP Code) states that footballers turned pundits present a “moderate risk” of strong appeal to minors. It noted that Neville had 80,000 followers aged under 18 on Instagram and 55,000 on X.

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