SBC News ASA upholds content complaint against Ladbrokes Tweets

ASA upholds content complaint against Ladbrokes Tweets

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld two separate complaints related to gambling content. 

The watchdog informed stakeholders that it had ordered Ladbrokes and Jumpman Gaming to remove the content in question. For Ladbrokes, the offending content pertained to the language used in a pair of its tweets.

The posts, which featured Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe and various other managers, referenced betting odds and were deemed to potentially appeal to individuals below the age of 18, leading to necessary disciplinary actions. 

Ladbrokes had come under the scrutiny of the ASA for the second time in quick succession, after falling foul of the CAP rules for a tweet featuring Jake Paul, a Youtuber turned boxer.

Defending its position, Ladbrokes stated that the first tweet was editorial, containing no calls to action, promotional offers, or links that could direct users to place bets. The high-street brand also supplied data indicating that none of the 22,182 impressions of the tweet targeted an audience below the age of 25.

However, Ladbrokes acknowledged that the second tweet was commercial, accepting it made a mistake in using images of current managers, contrary to usual procedures for commercially oriented content.

Despite the company’s defence, the ASA upheld that the content of both tweets, including the sport itself and certain imagery, could strongly appeal to individuals under 18.

Given that Twitter is a platform where users self-verify their age upon signing up and doesn’t employ stringent age-verification mechanisms, the ASA maintained that Ladbrokes could not confidently exclude under-18s from the audience. The ads were likely to appeal strongly to this age group and hence failed to meet the required accuracy level.

 ASA ordered that the offending tweets should not appear again in their present form. Ladbrokes was also advised not to include people or characters with strong appeal to those under 18 in future advertising efforts.

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