UK ads watchdog finds fault with bet365 ad on Twitter

bet365 argued that its logo only appeared for five seconds.
bet365 argued that its logo only appeared for five seconds.

The Advertising Standards Authority has warned the operator not to use people that appeal to minors.

UK.- The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has warned Hillside Sports, the company behind bet365, over a Twitter (now X) advert featuring Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka. It has told the operator not to use people that appeal to under-18s.

The operator had retweeted a video posted on Sky Sports Premier League‘s Twitter account. In-video text read “Granit Xhaka pulled out this stunning finish last season in Arsenal vs Man United” before footage of the footballer taking a corner shot. The bet365 logo appeared, and then the video cut to Xhaka scoring a goal against Manchester United in the 2022/23 season.

The ASA said the ad had been flagged for potentially breaching the Committee on Advertising Practice (CAP) Code because it featured a sportsperson who has strong appeal among under-18s. It said that by re-tweeting Sky Sports’ post, which featured the bet365 logo because of a sponsorship deal, bet365 had incorporated the tweet into its own marketing.

It said: “The ad included Granit Xhaka who was a player at Arsenal Football Club at the time the ad was seen and would be well known to the fans of that club, and also to those who followed Premier League football more generally, including children. 

“We also considered that he would be well known for being captain of the Swiss national team. We therefore considered he was likely to be of strong appeal to under-18s.”

bet365 argued that the tweet was produced by Sky Sports not by itself and that its logo appeared on screen for only five seconds compared to 21 seconds for the Sky Sports Premier League logo. It also argued that only 0.2 per cent of Sky Sports Premier League’s Twitter followers were registered as under 18 and that Xhaka did not have a public Twitter profile.

On the footballer’s Instagram account, only 0.4 per cent of his followers were under-18, although 32.3 per cent of his TikTok followers were minors. However, as in other recent rulings, the ASA noted that Twitter relies on self-verification so the ages registered by users could not be assumed to be reliable. Similar decisions were taken over Twitter ads from Ladbrokes.

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