Betfred’s tweets featuring Anthony Joshua have been banned for violating gambling advertising rules. The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) prohibits gambling operators from promoting their products by associating them with youth culture. The tweets in question promoted a fight in March and April. ASA claims that Joshua’s presence in the tweets could appeal to underage individuals. This is another example of ASA enforcing advertising rules to prevent underage gambling. This follows the ban of a similar tweet featuring Gary Neville. Betfred has rejected ASA’s claims and plans to request an independent review. The tweets feature Joshua discussing his diet, preparation routine, and pre-fight mentality. Betfred argues that boxing is adult-oriented, with late-night air time and pay-per-view streaming only available to over-18s. Betfred also states that the material was editorial, not promotional.
The boxer has a substantial following of 29.3 million on social media, according to the bookmakers. However, it is important to note that the majority of this audience is comprised of adults.
However, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has found that out of Joshua’s 15.7 million Instagram followers, approximately one million are under the age of 18. There are also 82,000 under-18 followers on Snapchat. This suggests that Joshua has a strong appeal to a young audience, according to the watchdog.
As a result, Betfred has been instructed not to feature these ads again in any form. They have also been warned against using figures who appeal to young people in the future.
Betfred disagrees with this decision, with a company spokesperson stating: “It is worth noting that the ASA did not receive a single complaint from the public regarding our association with Anthony Joshua in this regard.”