UK’s Gambling Regulator Bans Gary Neville Ad Featuring Sky Bet Logo

  • Sky Bet “firmly believe” that Gary Neville doesn’t have a strong appeal to under-18s
  • Gary Neville has 55,000 under-18 followers on X and 80,000 under-18s on Instagram
  • The ASA told Sky Bet not to include a person who has a strong appeal in future videos
Gary Neville
The UK‘s ASA has banned a gambling ad featuring Gary Neville because of its appeal to under-18s. [Image:]

ASA and Sky Bet disagree

The UK‘s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a gambling advertisement featuring former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville.

strong appeal among under-18s

According to the gambling regulator, the advert from Sky Bet broke gambling rules as it was deemed to have a strong appeal among under-18s. Sky Bet argued, however, that it “firmly believed” Neville didn‘t have a strong appeal to those under 18.

The video, posted on social media platform X on February 9, contained an embedded video from The Overlap football podcast showing Neville talking about which team might win the Premier League. A Sky Bet logo also appeared in the video. Text at the end said: “Brought to you by Sky Bet.”

The Overlap, which is sponsored by Sky Bet, said that the video was “distinctly adult in tone and did not feature any content of a childish nature”.

No complaints from X

As of March 2023, the 48-year-old Neville, who is well known for his time at Premier League club Manchester United, had over 5.5 million X followers, of which 1%, or 55,000, were between the ages of 13-17. On Instagram, 5%, or 80,000, of his 1.6 million followers fell under this age group.

According to the ASA, the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising guidance classified retired soccer players who were called upon to give their opinion to the public as likely to have a “moderate risk” to those under the age of 18.

we considered that over 135,000 followers aged under 18 was a significant number in absolute terms”

The ASA said: “Although they made up a small proportion of his total Instagram and X followers, we considered that over 135,000 followers aged under 18 was a significant number in absolute terms.”

The organization added that the ad was irresponsible and had told Sky Bet not to include a person who had a strong appeal to under-18s in future videos.

X didn‘t receive any complaints on the ad nor did it believe it had breached its current policies.

Irresponsible ads

In July, the gambling regulator banned two ads featuring English Premier League (EPL) managers. Ladbrokes was running a marketing campaign that showcased notable coaches like Eddie Howe of Newcastle and David Moyes of West Ham.

The ASA believed that the images of the managers “were likely to be of strong appeal to under-18s.” This is despite the fact that the regulator did note that the ads were targeting people who were over 25.

The ASA ruled that the ads cannot appear again, labeling them “irresponsible.”

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