The Advertising Standards Authority has dismissed a pair of complaints against two 888 YouTube video advertisements that were witnessed on Callum Airey’s YouTube channel in August 2021.
Two complainants, who believed that Airey had a large following with young people, challenged whether the ads for a gambling app, primarily 888poker, were directed at those aged below 18 years and had particular appeal to children.
In response 888 stated that the two videos were ads for which they paid Airey and retained editorial control, adding that although the first example was not initially labelled as an ad, it had been amended and was now described accurately.
The online gambling group added that Airey was over 25 years old and responsible gambling and 18+ logos featured on both videos, and an 18+ verbal disclaimer was also stated in both ads. Therefore they believed adequate steps had been taken to ensure that they did not appeal to children.
Airey himself noted that his Calfreezy channel did not have a large proportion of viewers who were under 18, and supplied three screenshots from his YouTube analytics showing audience numbers broken down by age.
The first screenshot was the viewing figures for the first ad which showed 7.5 per cent of the audience had been under 18, with the second displaying that 6 per cent of the audience had been under 18. The third was his overall viewing figures with 8.6 per cent of the audience who were under the aforementioned age.
In its assessment, the ASA noted: “For paid-organic content published by third-party users of a platform on behalf of a marketer, the ASA required the marketer to demonstrate that under 18s were not likely to comprise 25 per cent of the audience.
“Because the figures provided by Mr Airey showed the 25 per cent threshold had not been breached, which was also supported by his Instagram statistics, and for YouTube the figures were in fact significantly below the threshold, we considered the ads were not directed at under 18s through the selection of media. We therefore concluded that the ads did not breach the code.”
Furthermore, the Authority added that it did not find a breach with regards to the ad allegedly having a particular appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture.