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ASA Says Sky Bet Tweet Breached Advertising Regulations

The regulator in charge of advertising in the United Kingdom, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), constantly monitors such activities and imposes actions against companies that breach the established advertising regulations. As the regulator, the Authority scrutinizes different sectors, including the gambling and betting vertical. On Wednesday, the ASA announced that it upheld an assessment against a promotional Tweet released for Sky Bet . Posted on February 9, 2023, the Tweet included a video clip that was a part of The Overlap , a podcast that involves some of the biggest names in soccer, business, politics and the sports sector.

The aforementioned promotional Tweet included a video of Gary Neville that predicts which team may win the Premier League. The promotional video displays the BeGambleAware logo along with text Brought to you by Sky Bet and a caption “Is Gary changing his title prediction? Thanks to Man City, It seems @GNev2 is having a change of heart. Part three of The Overlap Fan Debate is out now.”

After observing the post, the ASA questioned whether the ad featured an individual that is likely to appeal to people under 18 years of age . Under the current regulations , gambling advertisements cannot include personas that may appeal strongly to individuals under the age of 18. The Authority sought to determine if Neville, who is a famous pundit for Sky and ITV, and also has a rich history in soccer after being a part of the Premier League club, Manchester United, may appeal to those under the age of 18.

Sky Bet Explains Why Gary Neville Doesn’t Appeal to Individuals under the Age of 18

The ASA addressed their issue with Sky Bet, to which the company responded that while Neville is well-known in soccer, he retired more than a decade ago, in 2011 . Moreover, Sky Bet said that The Overlap podcast focuses on soccer but also includes discussions and interviews within the political, sporting and business sectors . It added that the podcast is “distinctly adult in tone” and doesn’t offer any content that may appeal to children .

Citing data, Sky Bet confirmed that as of March this year, Neville had some 5.5 million followers on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. According to the company, an estimated 1% of those followers were between the ages of 13 and 17. In contrast, Sky Bet said that some 53% of his followers are between the ages of 25 to 34. “Gary Neville was 47 years old at the time the ad appeared, and that his media profile was consistent with his mature age ,” the company explained.

Advertising Watchdog Upholds Complaint

Despite the facts drawn by Sky Bet, the ASA upheld its complaint regarding the promotional message . According to the Authority, the 1% of Neville’s followers on X represent some 55,000 individuals under the age of 18. Additionally, the ASA said that in total, across other social media channels, an estimated 135,000 followers of the famous businessman and sports pundit are under the age of 18. 

Citing the BCAP, the Authority explained that “a generally high social media following that attracts a significant absolute number of under 18 followers, as determined through quantitative or qualitative analysis, is likely to be considered an indicator of ‘strong’ appeal .” Although that number was a small portion of Neville’s followers, the ASA said that it represents “a significant number in absolute terms .” It concluded that the ad was in breach of the CAP Code and explained that it must not appear again in its current form. always shares this Contents with License.

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