Football Index falls foul of ASA

A recent paid-for ad for ‘Football INDEX – Bet & Trade’, which appeared on the social media site Facebook, has been pulled by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) for featuring football players who were under the age of 25.

The advert, which was first shown on 20 May of this year, featured the images, values and names of many global players, along with two texts which read: Jadon Sancho is now the football stockmarket’s third most valuable player, with many traders seeing handsome profits” and “Sancho The Big Mover.” 

The complainant raised the issue that the Football Index ad was in breach of advertising codes due to the fact that under 25’s such as Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford all featured prominently.

Football Index responded to the complaint and ensured that no players under the age of 25 would be used in future advertising in the same manner as that of Sancho. 

With this being said, Football Index added that they “considered that the use of the images of Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Kylian Mbappe and Marcus Rashford did not constitute them playing a significant role”, and that “the images represented a roster of players and were used solely to illustrate the functional features of the platform and what consumers would see if using the app”.

Despite considering that no individual player received specific focus, the gambling app has since removed the ad and has stated it will be supplying its staff with relevant training regarding their responsibilities under the CAP code. 

A statement released by the ASA read: “We understood the intention of the ad was to illustrate the nature of the gambling app and how it could be played. However, we considered that of equal measure was its aim to offer the audience an opportunity to use the app for the purposes of gambling. 

“In that context, while the significance of the players under 25 was no greater than the other players featured, we considered that all listed footballers were the focus of the post, and that each of them played an equally significant role. In light of the above, we concluded that the ad was irresponsible and therefore breached the Code.”

The ASA has subsequently ruled that the advert must not appear again “in the form complained of”, and that the under 25’s used must only be featured to illustrate betting selections in which they are the subject of the offered bet.

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