Advertising regulator orders Betway to pull video featuring West Ham starlet Declan Rice

January 9 – The UK’s Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has ordered Betway to drop a video promotion that it deems to be advertising and in breach of advertising regulations.

The video features England and West Ham player Declan Rice who appears with West Ham’s club captain Mark Noble carrying out a prank clamping of Rice’s Range Rover while feeding lines to an actor posing as a traffic warden. The video appeared on Betway’s Youtube channel.

Betway is West Ham’s shirt sponsor and in the video both players wear club shirts with the online gamer’s logo. The video ends with a ‘Heed Your Hunch’ tagline followed by a GambleAware message.

Rice is aged 20. UK advertising rules state that betting operators cannot feature anyone under the of age of 25 in their ads.

The ASA ruling stated: “We noted that the YouTube video appeared on the Betway YouTube channel and featured sportsmen who consumers would be able to place bets on in the future and wearing football shirts with a prominent Betway logo.

“The ad ended with the brand name “Betway” followed by the claim “bet the responsible way. 18+ begambleaware.org”. We therefore considered that the video was promoting the Betway brand.

“The ad also featured the claim “HEED YOUR HUNCH”, which we considered encouraged consumers to think about placing a bet. For those reasons we considered the YouTube video was directly connected with the supply of Betway’s services and was therefore within the remit of the CAP Code.

“The YouTube video featured Declan Rice for the duration of the five-minute video, and we accordingly considered that he had played a significant role in the video. We also understood that Declan Rice was 20 years old. Because Declan Rice was under the age of 25, and played a significant role in the ad, we concluded that the ad breached the Code.”

Betway argued they did not consider the Youtube video to be an advert but saw it is as editorial content. The bookmaker said that the video was ‘editorial content’, did not feature Rice in a sporting context and did not “refer to a specific market, odds or promotions and that there was no link to the Betway website where a bet could be placed.”

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