The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an ad by the gambling firm Betway for featuring footballer Declan Rice because he is under 25 years old.
The video on the company’s YouTube account, seen in October, showed a car clamp prank being played on the England and West Ham star. A viewer complained that the ad breached advertising rules by featuring Rice, who was 20 years old. People under 25 are not allowed to play a significant role in gambling advertising, according to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) guidelines.
Betway said the video did not feature the player in a sporting context, did not refer to odds or promotions and contained no link to the Betway website where a bet could be placed, describing it as “editorial content” rather than an ad.
But the ASA said the video appeared on the Betway YouTube channel, featured sportsmen who consumers would be able to place bets on in the future and were wearing football shirts with a prominent Betway logo, and ended with the brand name “Betway.”
“We, therefore, considered that the video was promoting the Betway brand. Because Declan Rice was under the age of 25, and played a significant role in the ad, we concluded that the ad breached the Code,” the watchdog said.
“Although the prank was genuinely intended as a stunt for content purposes rather than an advert, Betway fully accept the ASA ruling and have already removed the video,” a Betway spokesman said.