In a vigilant strike, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) scrutinizes Betfred’s Twitter engagement with sports icons, pinpointing a breach in youth protection protocols.
With the use of British boxing champion Anthony Joshua, the stakes are high as Betfred navigates the complexities of appealing to adults while maintaining a responsible distance from youthful audiences.
Despite proactive measures and demographic analytics, the ruling underscores a cautionary tale for brands utilizing high-profile athletes in their digital marketing efforts.
Stakeholders in the digital marketing and betting sectors are called to recalibrate their strategies to align with evolving regulatory expectations, prioritizing responsible advertising.
The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has taken decisive action against Betfred for its trio of Twitter posts featuring the heavyweight boxing sensation Anthony Joshua, spotlighting the delicate balance between celebrity endorsements and responsible advertising.
These tweets, which included an interview and insights into Joshua’s fighting mentality, have been flagged for potentially engaging an underage audience. Betfred’s defense hinged on rigorous investigations, age-gating practices, and the assertion that Joshua’s follower demographics on platform X, TikTok, and Facebook skewed towards adult users.
Contrary to Betfred’s position, the ASA disclosed that a notable 6.6 percent of Joshua’s Instagram followers were under 18, coupled with the lack of robust age verification on Twitter. Moreover, the CAP guidance explicitly cautions that prominent figures in sports predominantly followed by adults still carry a moderate risk of attracting under-18s on social media.
This rebuke echoes a similar sentiment last month when the ASA reproached a Sky Bet tweet featuring Gary Neville for its underage allure, which breached multiple facets of the CAP Code. The promotional material aired on platform X underscored the challenges of ensuring age-appropriate targeting on social platforms, especially those relying on self-certification by users.
Betfred’s encounter with regulatory oversight illuminates a growing pattern of scrutiny from the ASA, following precedents set by rulings against industry peers Ladbrokes and Bet Victor. In the same vein, the BCAP Code highlights that celebrities transitioning to pundit roles—such as footballers—still represent a considerable attraction to minors, substantiated by Neville’s significant under-18 following on both Instagram and platform X.
In the wake of these deliberations, the ASA continues to enforce strict adherence to regulations intended to shield minors from gambling-related content, setting a clear benchmark for responsible advertising in the digital landscape.
Tags: #Betfred, #ASA, #AdvertisingRegulations, #AnthonyJoshua, #SocialMediaMarketing, #UKGambling, #YouthProtection, #ResponsibleMarketing