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Sky Bet faces ASA challenge over Gary Neville tweet

Updated:2024-03-25 14:00    Views:74

Sky Bet is the latest company to come under scrutiny from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in an ongoing effort to restrict gambling advertisements with potential strong appeal to under-18s. This follows previous actions against other operators, such as Ladbrokes, bet365 and William Hill.

The subject of this investigation was a promoted tweet for Sky Bet, posted on February 9, 2023, which contained an embedded video clip from The Overlap football podcast featuring Neville discussing Premier League teams' prospects.

The Sky Bet logo and text stating: "BROUGHT TO YOU BY SKY BET" — were visible throughout the video.

The primary issue raised by the ASA was whether Neville, the individual in the ad, had strong appeal to those under 18, which would breach the advertising code.

In response, Sky Bet stressed its collaboration with the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) to ensure its compliance with regulations, particularly the guidance on protecting under-18s in gambling and lottery advertising.

It contended that Neville, now a prominent football pundit, no longer had strong appeal to children or young people.

Sky Bet cited that The Overlap, a YouTube series sponsored by the company and hosted by Mr Neville,slots was distinctly aimed at an adult audience, discussing adult topics such as football from various perspectives.

The episodes typically featured fan debates on football-related subjects like the performance of different football clubs.

Statistics provided by Sky Bet indicated that only 1.2% of The Overlap's audience was aged 13-17, dropping to 0.5% for the advertised episode.

However, the ASA ruled that due to the significant number of social media followers under the age of 18, which amounted to over 135,000, Neville had an inherent strong appeal to under-18s, and therefore, the ad breached the CAP Code.

The ad must not appear again in its current form, with Sky Bet warned to avoid using individuals with strong appeal to under-18s in their advertising in the future.

This incident comes shortly after the extension of Sky Bet's partnership with Neville for a new weekly football series, ‘Stick To Football’ as well as its continued sponsorship of The Overlap YouTube channel.

For Sky Bet, this marks another chapter in its association with sports and entertainment, including a recent five-year extension with the English Football League (EFL) and various marketing initiatives aimed at responsible gambling measures.







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