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BetVictor criticized by ASA for their advertisement featuring Alba and Busquets

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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK has issued a directive to BetVictor, instructing them to take down their advertisement. This action comes as the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has adopted a stringent interpretation of newly implemented advertising regulations.

In response to a violation of the Committee on Advertising Practice’s (CAP) recent guidelines on the use of public figures in advertising content, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has mandated that BetVictor remove a social media advertisement. The ASA has determined that BetVictor’s ad breached the newly implemented rules, resulting in the directive to take down the advert.

BetVictor‘s paid post on social media featured Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets, two players from FC Barcelona, along with a caption asking about the most underrated player at the viewer’s supported club, and displayed the BetVictor logo. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) determined that this ad violated the Committee on Advertising Practice’s (CAP) ban on the use of public figures who appeal to under-18s, as Alba and Busquets are active players at a prominent club.

BetVictor defended their ad by arguing that Barcelona was not a UK-based team, and that Alba and Busquets were not as well-known among young people in the UK compared to strikers. They pointed out that the players had fewer online searches and had not scored against teams from England, Wales, or Scotland while representing the Spanish national team.

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BetVictor also highlighted that the ad was posted on Instagram and Twitter, platforms that typically have older audiences, as opposed to platforms like TikTok, Twitch, or Snapchat which are known for their younger user base. They argued that this was a deliberate effort to target the ad towards individuals over the age of 25.

However, the ASA ultimately determined that both Alba and Busquets could be considered star players, and therefore the post qualified as an advertisement rather than a regular social media post. The fact that the ad was paid for by BetVictor further reinforced its status as an advertisement. BetVictor’s claim that the payment was intended to ensure that the ad only reached individuals over the age of 25 was not considered sufficient to comply with the CAP’s guidelines.

BetVictor stated that they acknowledged the ASA’s classification of the post as an advertisement due to it being paid for, but they explained that the intention behind the post was to stimulate conversation about topics that would be of interest to viewers. They further clarified that the post did not contain any comments, links, or calls to action directing users to betting sites, apart from their own logo. They also pointed out that the payment for the ad was solely to ensure that it was appropriately targeted to users who were 25 years of age and older. BetVictor cited data from Facebook indicating that 100% of the viewers of the post were above the age of 25.

“BetVictor said that whilst they understood the post was considered by the ASA as an ad because it was paid-for, the post had been designed to engage people in conversation about topics they would be interested in.

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“They said that there were no comments, links or calls to action back to betting sites or logos in the post (other than their own). They said it had only been paid-for to ensure the ad had been appropriately targeted to users aged 25 and over. They said data they had from Facebook showed that 100% of the post’s viewers were over the age of 25.”

The ASA’s recent decision to enforce CAP’s new rules with regards to ads featuring players who do not play for UK teams showcases their strict interpretation of the guidelines. This marks the first time the ASA has ruled against such an ad.

Earlier in February, the ASA also received complaints about the use of former footballers Peter Crouch and Micah Richards in advertisements for two different sports betting brands. Specifically, the complaints were related to TV ads featuring Peter Crouch for Paddy Power, and a tweet featuring Micah Richards for Sky Bet, both of which were published in November and October 2022 respectively. In both cases, the ASA received two complaints regarding the ads.

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Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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FDJ’s Acquisition of Kindred Group Shaping the Future of Global Gaming

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FDJ’s acquisition of Kindred Group, facilitated by regulatory approval and strategic shareholder engagement, signifies a transformative moment in the gaming industry. This deal exemplifies the intricate balance between regulatory compliance, shareholder value, and strategic growth ambitions. As the industry stands at the cusp of further consolidation and innovation, the FDJ-Kindred transaction heralds a new era of strategic realignment and competitive positioning in the global gaming landscape.


A Monumental Shift in Gaming Dynamics

The Swedish Financial Market Supervisory Authority (SFSA)‘s approval of Française des Jeux’s (FDJ) offer to acquire Kindred Group marks a pivotal moment in the global gaming and betting sector. This green light not only accelerates FDJ’s strategic expansion but also underscores the evolving landscape of international gaming regulations and corporate alignments.

Navigating Regulatory Waters

The SFSA’s endorsement is a crucial step in FDJ’s ambitious acquisition plan, setting the stage for a public offer slated to commence imminently. This regulatory approval highlights the meticulous scrutiny and compliance standards governing mergers and acquisitions within the sector, ensuring that such transactions align with market stability and shareholder interests.

A Call to Action for Kindred Shareholders

The forthcoming Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) represents a critical juncture for Kindred Group, with proposed statutory amendments necessary for facilitating the acquisition. This meeting, aimed at achieving the requisite shareholder consensus, signals the importance of shareholder engagement in steering corporate direction and strategy.

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The Path to Acquisition: Shareholder Conviction and Strategic Vision

FDJ’s pursuit of Kindred Group, contingent upon securing 90% of total capital, reflects a strategic maneuver to consolidate its position in the global gaming market. The offer per share, valuing Kindred at approximately €2.6 billion, has garnered unanimous board endorsement and significant shareholder backing, illustrating the alignment of strategic interests and the perceived value of this consolidation.

Activist Influence and Strategic Realignment

The role of activist shareholders, notably Corvex Management, in advocating for Kindred’s sale underscores the dynamic interplay between corporate governance and shareholder activism. Their successful campaign for board representation and strategic evaluation reflects a broader trend of active investor engagement in shaping corporate trajectories.

Implications for the Global Gaming Industry

This acquisition not only exemplifies the financial and strategic considerations underpinning such deals but also highlights the regulatory complexities and shareholder dynamics involved. As the gaming industry continues to evolve, driven by technological advancements and regulatory changes, the FDJ-Kindred merger serves as a case study in strategic growth, market consolidation, and the pursuit of competitive advantage.

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