Betfred Disagrees That Anthony Joshua Interview Posts Violated Advertising Rules

  • The offending tweets were interview clips about Joshua’s fight preparation
  • The ASA bans any ads that might be of appeal to an underage audience
  • Betfred plans to get an independent review of the ASA’s “unjust decision”
Anthony Joshua
Betfred disagrees with the ASA’s ruling that its interviews posted on X violate underage advertising rules. [Image:]

The ads in question

A series of messages that gambling operator Betfred posted to X (formerly Twitter) featuring boxer Anthony Joshua have been banned for violating gambling advertising rules. The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has concluded that the posts from March and April appealed to underage people, something which the operator disagrees with.

claimed that the interviews were editorial and not advertising

Betfred conducted interviews with the boxer in which he discussed his diet and preparation for a fight, as well as what he’s thinking about before he steps into the ring. The gambling operator posted separate clips on X in advance of the 34-year-old’s fight against Jermaine Franklin. It claimed that the interviews were editorial and not advertising.

Strict rules

The ASA has strict rules in place regarding the advertising practices of UK Gambling Commission-licensed operators. The organization updated its rules last year to provide more clarity to operators. One of the main changes was that ads that are in any way relevant to youth culture are not permitted on television, online, or radio.

Anthony Joshua is one of the most high-profile UK boxers, having almost 16 million followers on Instagram. About 6% of these followers are underage, as are a significant proportion of his Snapchat followers. The ASA believes that the number was big enough to deem Joshua to be appealing to underage people.

The ASA flagged the tweets through the use of an artificial intelligence (AI) search tool

Betfred argued that because boxing matches are usually only viewable through pay-per-view – which can only be purchased by people who are at least 18 years old – and the bouts take place at late hours, the sport is “adult orientated.” The operator also noted that as the Watford native is nearing the end of his career, he is less appealing to young people.

Betfred disagrees

The two parties ultimately disagreed on the matter, with the ASA instructing Betfred to not show the offending ads again in their current form and to not use celebrities who might be appeal to underage people in future campaigns.

Boxing has become a lot more popular among a younger audience in recent years as the popularity of celebrity boxing fights involving YouTube stars like Logan Paul, Jake Paul, and KSI has exploded.

A Betfred spokesperson emphasized that the operator remains committed to not appealing to young people with its ads and noted that no members of the public companied to the ASA about the Joshua content. It plans to seek “an independent review of this unjust decision.”

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