The UK advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has ruled that an advert from betting company Betway can no longer be shown.
The advert appeared in October last year. It featured Declan Rice, an England international footballer, and as Rice was aged 20 at the time, the advertising was challenged. Current rules make it illegal for betting companies to include under-25s in a significant way in any advertising material.
The advert, which was released for Youtube, involved the club captain at West Ham, Mark Noble, pretending to clamp Rice’s car alongside an actor playing the role of a traffic warden. Both players wore West Ham shirts, which included the Betway logo.
In their response, Betway argued that the video should not be considered to be a promotion or advertisement, but instead described it as editorial content. They also argued that Rice was not involved in the video in the context of playing sport, and that there was no mention of prices, odds or company promotions, and no link to the Betway online betting site.
But the ASA disagreed. In their ruling, they highlighted that the video involved sportsmen who could be the subject of bets in future and that they were wearing clothing that promoted the Betway brand. They also noted that the video included a slogan that appeared to encourage viewers to consider making a bet, and that it ended with references to responsible betting.
“For those reasons we considered the YouTube video was directly connected with the supply of Betway’s services and was therefore within the remit of the CAP Code.”
The ASA also ruled that Rice, who was involved throughout the video, played a significant part, and that as he was 20 at the time, the video was clearly in breach of the existing codes.