ASA brandish red card to Football Index ads

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has pulled a Facebook-based ad belonging to Football Index – Bet & Trade – a regulated gambling platform – due to it breaching advertising codes.

The complainant raised the issue that the Football Index ad, which heavily featured England and Borussia Dortmund superstar Jadon Sancho (19), was in breach of regulations prohibiting the use of under 25’s.

The advert, first seen on the social media site on 20 May this year, featured the images, values and names of many global players, along with two texts which read: “Jadon Sancho is now the football stockmarket’s third most valuable player, with many traders seeing handsome profits” and “Sancho The Big Mover.”

Along with Sancho, fellow professionals such as Raheem Sterling (24), Marcus Rashford (21), Kylian Mbappe (20) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (18) also appeared in the ad. 

A statement released by the ASA read: “We understood the intention of the ad was to illustrate the nature of the gambling app and how it could be played. However, we considered that of equal measure was its aim to offer the audience an opportunity to use the app for the purposes of gambling. 

“In that context, while the significance of the players under 25 was no greater than the other players featured, we considered that all listed footballers were the focus of the post, and that each of them played an equally significant role. In light of the above, we concluded that the ad was irresponsible and therefore breached the Code.”

The Football Index has since stated that the use of the footballers was not significant and was only implemented to illustrate the functional features of the platform. 

Despite the statement, the ASA has ruled that the advert must not appear again “in the form complained of”, and that under 25’s used in future advertisements must only be featured to illustrate betting selections in which they are the subject of the offered bet.

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