ASA upholds another complaint against Ladbrokes tweets

The ASA has upheld three complaints against Ladbrokes in the past two months.
The ASA has upheld three complaints against Ladbrokes in the past two months.

The Advertising Standards Authority ruled that Ladbrokes’ use of tennis players could appeal to under-18s.

UK.- The UK Advertising Standards Authority has ruled against Ladbrokes in another case of a complaint about posts on Twitter. Entain’s brand made four tweets in January and February that featured images of the tennis players Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios. The tweets all related to the Australian Open Men’s tournament.

Two of the tweets featured polls and two made reference to Djokovic’s performance. Ladbrokes argued that they were intended as “editorial content” and said it had reviewed each player’s media profile, follower demographic, and sponsorship partnerships to check they did not have particular appeal to under-18s.

It backed this claim up with data on the age of the players’ Facebook, Twitter and Instagram followers by age group showing that few followers were under the age of 21. Ladbrokes also submitted data suggesting that out of all the impressions on the posts, ranging from 24,653 to 35,050, only one was from an account registered as being in the age range of 18 to 24.

However, the ASA upheld the complaint, noting that the players featured were “star players” and thus high-risk for appealing to minors. As such use of the players breached the CAP Code sections 16.1, 16.3 and 16.3.12. While it acknowledged Ladbrokes’ data on impressions the ASA has repeatedly drawn attention to the lack of reliable age verification on Twitter since it relies on users to self-declare their age.

The ASA told Ladbrokes not to include personalities that may appeal to under-18s in its advertising in the future.

Recent ASA rulings against Ladbrokes

The latest ruling comes after the ASA upheld two complaints against tweets from Ladbrokes last month. In one case, Ladbrokes featured the YouTuber and boxer Jake Paul. The second complaint related to two promoted tweets that featured Premier League managers.

Meanwhile, finding it more difficult to advertise around sports, Ladbrokes is turning its attention to music. Through a deal with AEG PresentsThe O2 and NME, the sportsbook has launched Ladbrokes LIVE, which offers chances to win tickets to live music and comedy shows. The platform has been launched with a private box and digital OOH advertising at The O2, sponsorship of the NME Awards show and ticket access through AEG Presents, which manages concerts, tours, bars, venues and music festivals.

The product, at, does not offer betting but free draws. Players have three chances a week to enter draws to win tickets to the events they fancy. But the platform also promotes Ladbrokes’ “World of Play”. It will be interesting to see what regulators and campaigners make of it, since it could be seen that the brand is preparing to move gambling sponsorship from sport to music in a way that introduces new players to the idea of trying their luck.

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