Betway Advert Featuring Declan Rice Banned by ASA

  • The ad in question was a prank video uploaded on Betway's YouTube in October 2019
  • Five-minute video features West Ham United players Mark Noble and Declan Rice
  • The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) ruled that the video violated the CAP Code
  • Betway argued against the video being categorized as an advertisement
Declan Rice of West Ham United
The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has banned a Betway advert that featured West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice. [Image:]

ASA crackdown continues

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has continued its crackdown on gambling ads by banning a Betway ad that featured England international Declan Rice.

The ASA ruled that the ad violated CAP Code rule 16.3.14. This rule states that betting companies cannot feature anyone under 25 years old in a prominent way in their advertising campaigns.

The ASA ruled that the ad violated CAP Code rule 16.3.14

West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice, who has won four caps for England, was 20 years old when the ad went live.

The ad in question

This ad has been live since October 2019 when it was uploaded on Betway’s YouTube channel.

It shows West Ham United captain Mark Noble pretending to clamp a Range Rover that belongs to Declan Rice. While this is happening, an actor pretending to be a traffic warden speaks to Rice about the clamping. 

The two soccer players are wearing West Ham United apparel in the video, with Betway logo featuring prominently. The Betway logo appears on the screen at the end of the video with the tag line “Heed Your Hunch”.

This is followed by a responsible gambling message from GambleAware. This message reminds viewers that they must be 18 years old to place bets in the United Kingdom. 

Decision explained

The ASA spoke about this ad in some detail, stating that the five-minute video featured two sportspeople who viewers could place bets on.

As the ad closed with a logo of Betway, the ASA ruled that this was a promotional video for the gambling company. The ASA also believes that the tag line in the video encouraged viewers to consider placing a bet. 

The ASA said: “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.”

As a result of the ASA’s decision, this video can no longer appear in its current form. The ASA also warned Betway not to feature people who are under the age of 25 in any future ad campaigns.

Response from Betway

Betway issued a strong response to the ASA’s ruling. The gambling company said that this video was published as editorial content. Betway did not deem the content of this video to be promotional or for this video to be an advertisement for the brand.

Betway did admit that Rice was only 20 years old at the time of publication

Betway went on to say that Declan Rice was not partaking in this video in any sort of sporting context. However, Betway did admit that Rice was only 20 years old at the time of publication.

Betway also said that this video 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.”

Latest in a series of ad bans

There has been a lot of talk about severely curtailing the way in which gambling companies can advertise in the United Kingdom. Some people have even called for a blanket ban on these companies advertising, including a ban on the sponsorship of soccer teams. 

As a result, advertising authorities have been cracking down on gambling ads.

In August, a Football Index ad was banned for featuring people under the age of 25. This Facebook ad featured Jadon Sancho and Raheem Sterling. 

Paddy Power is renowned for pushing the boundaries with its advertising campaigns. Its ad campaign featuring Rhodri Giggs, the brother of Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs, was banned in May.

This ad showed Rhodri Giggs driving an exotic car and drinking champagne while promoting the Paddy Power loyalty rewards program. The ASA ruled that this ad glamorized gambling. 

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