The UK Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) has taken actions against Sky Bet relating to promotional gambling-related content that could have a ‘strong appeal to under-18 audiences’.
Having become the latest in a series of warnings against operators like Ladbrokes, bet365 and William Hill, Sky Bet’s offence includes a promoted Tweet that according to the AI-based Active And Monitoring system is in direct violation of regulations.
The tweet in question is taken from Gary Neville’s profile, where in a video snippet taken from The Overlap football podcast he discusses which team might win the Premier League.
With the Sky Bet logo prominent at different stages of the clip, and despite the BeGambleAware slogan also becoming visible towards the end of it, ASA still decided to raise the question if Neville would likely be a strong appeal to people aged under 18.
In its argument, Sky Bet has remained firm that the video in question from a series that the operator sponsors is “distinctly adult in tone”, as well as that the firm has “worked extensively” with CAP to ensure that all ads adhere to the requirements.
From data provided by Sky Bet it can also be seen that just 1.2% of The Overlap podcast’s audience is aged between 13-17, and that this age represents 0.5% from the viewers of the episode in question.
And while Sky Bet acknowledged Gary Neville’s career as a footballer, the firm also argued that he is now heavily involved in political commentary while also being a successful businessman – things that are “unlikely” to appeal to children and young people.
“As owner of a property investment company and co-owner of a hospitality management company, he was also known as a successful businessman,” a statement to ASA added.
“They believed that his co-ownership and former CEO role at EFL League 2 football team, Salford City, would not make him of strong appeal to under-18s because he operated behind the scenes at a lower-league club.
“They said Gary Neville had been a brand ambassador for Sky Bet since 2018 and was widely recognised for his connection to their products, which were solely targeted at adults.
“They confirmed that the promoted tweet had been targeted at users registered as being over 25 years old who had a known interest in sport and who would therefore be likely to be interested in The Overlap.”