The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled in favour of bet365 concerning a January tweet from the operator promoting Chris Eubank Jr’s boxing match against Liam Smith.
The tweet from bet365 was examined by the ASA to determine whether it would have a strong appeal to young people.
“It’s fight week! Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith will be Unleashed in Manchester. Click here for latest odds”, the tweet said.
Under the Committee on Advertising Practice code, gambling operators are not allowed to use professional athletes in marketing material that are deemed to have a strong appeal to young people.
However, athletes are ranked in different categories within the code, either low, moderate or high risk, with bet365 arguing that boxing is a more “adult-oriented sport” and therefore Eubank Jr is in the low or moderate risk category.
The operator claimed that campaigns undergo “robust processes” including reviewing all individuals and content across channels to make sure only users aged 25 or over are targeted with “people with inherent strong appeal, such as European top flight footballers” being automatically excluded.
bet365 also provided a breakdown of Eubank Jr’s social media following, stating that only a small percentage of his followers on Facebook (0.1 per cent), Twitter (0.3 per cent) and Instagram (0.4 per cent) were under the age of 18. He also doesn’t have a public YouTube account.
While the percentage of Eubank Jr’s followers under the age of 18 on TikTok is 31.7 per cent, the operator itself doesn’t have a profile or presence on the app and “therefore none of his followers would see any bet365 content”.
The operator claimed that the majority of the boxer’s “followers were split across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and of his total follower count, 0.6% were registered as under 18”.
bet365 also provided viewing figures and a demographic makeup of the fight’s audience, noting that of the 345,000 viewers, “there were no under-24s who had watched it”. The largest demographic of viewers were aged between 35 and 54.
Of those that watched the fight on YouTube, 0.5% of viewers were registered as under 18 and the largest viewer demographic was aged between 25 and 44.
bet365 added that Eubank Jr’s appearance on Celebrity Gogglebox can be considered low risk as it aired post 9pm and the show itself has been defined by the ASA previously as “primarily aimed at an adult audience”.
As a result of the above findings, the ASA ruled in favour of bet365 regarding the Eubank Jr tweet, and therefore no further action will be taken.