License: Pexels, Free to use, Author: Pixabay
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint against BetVictor for a paid-for Facebook advertisement that had strong appeal to under-18s. The ad featured Spanish football players Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets playing for FC Barcelona and contained text asking, "Who is the most underrated player at the club you support?" BetVictor argued that the players were not well-known in the UK and did not have a social media presence popular with under-18s. However, the ASA referenced Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code's guidance that football has an inherently strong appeal to under-18s and upheld the complaint. BetVictor had not excluded under-18s from viewing the ad, and the ASA found the operator to have breached CAP Code edition 12, rules 16.1, 16.3, and 16.3.12. The ruling widens the scope of previous rulings and suggests that any player in a major overseas league, particularly those playing for big clubs, is a risky choice for gambling operators.