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LeoVegas Ad with Adebayo Akinfenwa Found Irresponsible by UK’s ASA



ASA Strikes Against LeoVegas for Irresponsible Ad Featuring Adebayo Akinfenwa: A Pivot in Marketing Standards

In a decisive move to uphold advertising integrity, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has mandated LeoVegas to retract a BetUK sportsbook radio advertisement, spotlighting the retired footballer Adebayo Akinfenwa. This ruling underscores a growing scrutiny over gambling ads’ potential appeal to minors, setting a new precedent for responsible marketing within the UK gambling industry.

The Controversial Advertisement

In September, a BetUK sportsbook radio advertisement featuring Adebayo Akinfenwa, revered for his physical prowess and affectionately dubbed a “cult hero” in football circles, ignited controversy. Despite highlighting safer gambling tools, the ASA received complaints asserting Akinfenwa’s appeal to minors, thereby breaching the CAP Code rules 17.4 and 17.4.5 designed to protect young audiences.

LeoVegas’ Defense Falls Short

In response, LeoVegas presented arguments underscoring Akinfenwa’s retirement and non-Premier League career as factors diminishing his influence on young people. Despite these claims, supported by data indicating a predominantly adult audience for the radio show and a minimal underage following on Akinfenwa’s Instagram, the ASA remained unconvinced.

ASA’s Ruling: A Reflection on Modern Celebrity

The ASA’s ruling highlighted the unique media and social profile of Akinfenwa, emphasizing his broad appeal beyond conventional football fame, particularly among the younger demographic. This decision was informed by his status as the strongest player in the FIFA video game series and his significant social media following, which includes a noteworthy number of under-18 followers.


The Implications for Advertising Standards

This incident marks a pivotal moment in the enforcement of gambling advertisement regulations, highlighting the need for advertisers to thoroughly assess the potential appeal of their campaigns to younger audiences. The ASA’s decision sends a clear message to the gambling industry about the importance of adhering to advertising standards that prioritize the protection of minors.

Looking Ahead: Navigating Responsible Advertising

As the gambling sector continues to evolve, the challenge of balancing effective marketing with social responsibility becomes increasingly complex. The ASA’s ruling against the LeoVegas ad featuring Adebayo Akinfenwa serves as a critical reminder for operators to innovate their advertising strategies within the confines of ethical and responsible practices.

Conclusion: Setting New Standards in Gambling Advertising

The ASA’s intervention in the LeoVegas BetUK sportsbook advertisement is a watershed moment for gambling advertising in the UK. By holding LeoVegas accountable for the unintended appeal of their advertisement to minors, the ASA reaffirms its commitment to safeguarding young individuals from gambling-related harm. This ruling not only impacts LeoVegas but also sets a benchmark for the entire industry, urging a reevaluation of marketing approaches to ensure they align with the highest standards of responsibility and care.


Following the completion of her master's degree in publishing and writing, Amanda embarked on her professional journey as an online editor for a prominent gaming blog. Now, she has smoothly transitioned into the iGaming industry, where she plays a vital role in upholding the highest standards of writing in our news pieces. Working closely with senior management, Amanda ensures that our content meets the utmost quality standards.

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