A Betway gambling advertisement has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for featuring footballer Declan Rice.
The advertisement in question appeared on Betway’s YouTube account in October and saw West Ham captain Mark Noble play a car clamp prank on Rice’s Range Rover car in London while reading lines to an actor posing as a traffic warden. The video also featured footballers in West Ham shirts with Betway’s branding and the video ended by displaying the Betway logo along with a GambleAware warning.
However, a viewer issued a complaint to the ASA over the ad as it breached rules by featuring the footballer who was 20-years-old at the time. According to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), gambling advertisements cannot feature people under the age of 25.
According to reports, Betway argued that the video didn’t feature Rice in a sporting context nor did it refer to odds or promotions and did not include any links to the Betway website. The betting firm went on to describe the video as “editorial content” rather than an advertisement.
However, the ASA stated that the video appeared on Betway’s YouTube channel which featured sportsmen whom viewers can place bets on in the future and were wearing football shirts with Betway’s logo. The regulator also said that the video ended with the betting firm’s logo.
They said: “We, therefore, considered that the video was promoting the Betway brand. Because Declan Rice was under the age of 25, and played a significant role in the ad, we concluded that the ad breached the Code.”
In response, a Betway spokesperson told the Evening Standard: “Although the prank was genuinely intended as a stunt for content purposes rather than an advert, Betway fully accept the ASA ruling and have already removed the video.”
As part of the Advertising Standards Authority’s rule, Betway has been warned that the video must not appear again in its current form.
The news comes just weeks after a report from the Advertising Standards Authority revealed that the number of gambling ads seen by children had dropped between 2017 and 2018. The ASA’s study revealed that the number of children viewing gambling ads reached an all-time high of 4.4 per week in 2013 but had dropped to 3.2 per week in 2018.
Other reveals from the ASA study, titled The Children’s Exposure To Age-Restricted TV Ads: 2018 Update, included that children’s exposure to gambling advertisements fell 35.4% over a ten-year period between 2008 and 2018. The regulatory body also found that gambling advertisements made up 2.2% of all advertisements on television in 2018.
Meanwhile, the ASA has been clamping down on gambling advertisements. Last year, the regulatory body banned advertisements from dozens of online casinos including Casumo, 32Red, Coral, BetIndex, Sky Bet, Monopoly Casino, and so many more.