Home > Legal & compliance > Ladbrokes ads again pulled by ASA for appealing to under-18s

Ladbrokes ads again pulled by ASA for appealing to under-18s

| By Zak Thomas-Akoo
Entain-owned Ladbrokes has been rapped again by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for releasing adverts with appeal to under-18s.
Entain Q1

The ads, which took the form of two promoted tweets, featured a number of Premier League managers. The ASA said they were likely to appeal to people under 18 due to the popularity of the league.

This is the second time this month Ladbrokes has had promoted tweets pulled by the ASA for appealing to users under 18.

The first tweet sent by Ladbrokes featured two images of Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe. The second tweet included four then-managers in the league: David Moyes, Frank Lampard, Brendan Rodgers and Gary O’Neil.

Ladbrokes defends tweets

Ladbrokes defended the first tweet, arguing it was intended as editorial content to celebrate Eddie Howe’s success as manager. To support, it highlighted the post contained no calls to action, no promotional offers and no links to the betting operator’s website.

The business also put in place an age gate on its feed so it could not be viewed by under-18s. In addition, the company said it imposed an additional level of security by targeting the ads only to people over 25.

Ladbrokes also said it believed, due to Howe’s modest online presence and career largely spent in the lower leagues, that the use of his image was unlikely to appeal strongly to under-18s.

However, the operator admitted fault on the second tweet. Ladbrokes said it had “inadvertently” included the imagery for the managers contrary to their guidance and standard procedure. As such, the business said it had taken steps to ensure that future ads complied with the advertising rules.  

ASA rules against Ladbrokes

Despite Ladbroke’s defence the ASA decided to uphold the complaint against Ladbrokes. Although the self-regulatory body said that it had considered the points brought up by the business, ultimately it said that they did not override its assessment that the ads were likely to appeal to under-18s.

The ASA accepted the ads would have been permitted to appear in a medium which 18-unders could be totally excluded for all intents and purposes. However, the age gate and targeted advertising engaged by Ladbrokes did not pass this threshold.

“For those reasons, we concluded the ads were irresponsible and breached the code,” said the ASA.

Jumpman ad also banned by ASA

Online bingo operator Jumpman Gaming also saw its ad pulled by the standards body. The operator was considered to have breached the code with a call to action on the browser.

When a user left the tab open to view a different website, a camera symbol and the text “Hey! Come back” appeared on the tab.

While Jumpman argued that the purpose of the alert was to warn customers that the site had not been closed. However, the ASA did not see the case in the same light and ruled that the alert could be seen as encouraging harmful gambling behaviour.

As such the ASA said the ad could support actions that “could lead to financial, social or emotional harm, exploited the susceptibilities of vulnerable people and was therefore irresponsible and breached the code”.

Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter