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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has not upheld a complaint made against Hillside, trading as Bet365, which questioned whether an advertisement featuring boxer Chris Eubank Jr would appeal to under-18s.
The advertisement in question took the form of a promoted tweet, which the ASA saw in January 2023. The image attached to the tweet featured Eubank Jr, with the caption reading: “It’s fight week! Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith will be Unleashed in Manchester. Click here for latest odds”.
The authority questioned whether the ad would appeal to minors, due to the inclusion of Eubank Jr. If so, this would mean the ad infringed upon the ASA’s code of non-broadcast advertising, sales promotion and direct marketing – known as the CAP code.
In response, Bet365 said that its social media channels were age-restricted to users aged 18 and over. It further explained that where it is not possible to age-verify, it ensures campaigns only target over 25s. In addition, all of Bet365’s social media channels have options to self-exclude.
For the complaint in question, it said that the ad was only displayed to users over the age of 25 and to those who had expressed interest in related content.
The operator said that it conducts live monitoring of individuals it uses in marketing material. This is to ensure that their featuring in an ad would not be high risk. This excludes, for example, top-flight European footballers.
Upon assessing Eubank Jr’s social media profiles, it found that on Facebook, 0.1% of his followers are registered as being under 18. This number was 0.3% in Twitter and 0.4% on Instagram.
Bet365 also pointed out that Eubank Jr’s appearance in the ad would be considered low to moderate risk by the CAP code, which defines boxing as an adult-oriented sport.
The ASA ultimately ruled that the complaint not be upheld and no further action should be taken.
As well as considering Eubank’s overall appeal to under 18s, and concluding that there was very little, the ASA said that boxing is a more adult-oriented sport and that the ad was not presented in a way that would appeal to under-18s.
The ad was investigated under CAP code rules 16.1, 16.3 and 16.3.12.
In April, the ASA banned an ad from BetVictor on the grounds that it would have a strong appeal to under 18s. The ad featured Spanish footballer Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets.
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