by Richard Hill
1 min read
1 min read

ASA Upholds Ruling on BetUK Advert with Adebayo Akinfenwa

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a ruling against BetUK's advert featuring retired footballer Adebayo Akinfenwa, citing its potential appeal to individuals under the age of 18. This case underscores the ongoing regulatory focus on gaming advertising in the UK in 2024.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has recently made a ruling against an advert by BetUK, a brand under LeoVegas.

The ruling pertains to a radio ad that aired on 27 September 2023, featuring retired footballer Adebayo Akinfenwa endorsing the brand. The ad has sparked a challenge regarding its potential appeal to individuals under the age of 18.

The Ad Content and Challenge

In the ad, Akinfenwa promoted the BetUK website’s tools and emphasized responsible gambling. However, a complaint was raised questioning whether the ad’s inclusion of Akinfenwa, as a well-known figure in the football world, may strongly appeal to those under 18.

BetUK’s Defense

BetUK responded by pointing out Akinfenwa’s age and his retirement from professional football in May 2022 as factors that would make him less popular among under-18s.

Additionally, they highlighted that the ad was aired on a radio show with an adult audience and presented Akinfenwa’s age demographic percentages on social media channels to support their argument.

ASA’s Decision

Despite BetUK’s arguments, the ASA concluded that the ad breached the code.

The regulatory body emphasized Akinfenwa’s recognition among football fans due to his notable physical strength and popularity in the gaming world, including being featured in the FIFA game and having an Amazon Prime documentary about him.

The ASA also considered Akinfenwa’s substantial social media following as a contributing factor to its ruling.

Outcome and Implications

As a result, the ASA has prohibited the ad from reappearing in its current form and instructed BetUK to refrain from featuring individuals or characters with strong appeal to under-18s in their future advertising. This case bears resemblance to a similar instance involving Sky Bet and Gary Neville.

The Broader Context

These regulatory actions form part of the ongoing scrutiny of UK gaming advertising. In a recent discussion with Gambling Insider, Imogen Moss from Poppleston Allen highlighted the evolving landscape of UK gaming regulations, including the role of the ASA in addressing such cases.

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