Gambling advertisement featuring several Premier League managers have been banned by the Advertising Standards Agency.
The ads in question featured the likes of Newcastle manager Eddie Howe and West Ham boss David Moyes, but watchdogs have flagged them for fears over their potential appeal to under-18’s.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) claim Ladbrokes, the betting site who launched the marketing campaign, could attract young adults and children to gambling.
Early life exposure to gambling advertisement and family members partaking in betting has been linked to problem gambling in adults, according to a recently commissioned GambleAware survey.
The adverts originated on Twitter in January and February of this year, the first of which features Howe as the main focus, while the second promoting a ‘next manager to leave’ odds market pictures four different figures.
The ASA said in statement: “We noted the ads included Eddie Howe, David Moyes, Frank Lampard, Brendan Rodgers and Gary O’Neil, who at the time of publication were all current Premier League managers and would be well known to those who followed football, and in particular fans of the clubs they managed, including children.
“We considered, based on those factors, that all five managers were likely to be of strong appeal to under-18s.”
Ladbrokes acknowledged the ASA’s concerns and accepted the fact it could be viewed as commercial. They also said it ‘inadvertently’ included imagery of the managers, which goes against standard procedure.
However, Ladbrokes did counter it with a two-fold defence of their own. One of the UK’s leading bookmakers claimed that the Tweets didn’t actually lead users to their betting site in any way, while Twitter users would also have to prove they are 18 in order to able to view their Twitter page.
The ASA also added: “We acknowledged that the ads were targeted at over-25s, but, because Twitter was a media environment where users self-verified on customer sign-up and did not use robust age-verification, we considered that Ladbrokes had not excluded under-18s from the audience with the highest level of accuracy required for ads the content of which was likely to appeal strongly to under-18s.”