Watchdog bites over ‘under age’ Betfair ad

Online betting company Betfair has had an email ad pulled by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The ad featured a photo of Annette Obrestad, a 20-year-old poker player, complete with the strapline: “Online experience is measured in games, not years. Join the new breed”.

Following an investigation, the ASA has ruled the ad to be in breach of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (the CAP code) in two places.

First, because no one under the age of 25 years of age should be featured gambling in a marketing communication, or playing a significant role.

Second, because given Obrestad’s online handle – Annette_15 – together with the “online experience…” text, it implied the player was even younger than 20.

In light of this, the ASA felt the ad was likely to have “particular appeal to children and young people” and “could encourage young people to gamble”.

Betfair defended the ad given the media used to distribute it and the technical measures they used to prevent children and young people from using their site. It also assured the ASA that Obrestad was used “not because of her age but because of her standing as a professional poker player”.

However, the ASA concluded that “the ad must not appear again in its current form” and told Betfair to ensure that no one who was, or seemed to be, under 25 years old appeared gambling, or playing a significant role, in their ads in future.

Latest from Marketing Week

Tesco, M&S, Just Eat: 5 things that mattered this week and why

m&s

M&S chief outlines digital-first strategy after profits plummet Marks & Spencer (M&S) is gearing up for a digital-first future, after its revealed on Wednesday (23 May) that profits had dropped a massive 62.1% to £66.8m compared to the previous year. A day earlier, the struggling retailer confirmed it will close more than 100 stores over […]

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here