Two TV ads for Betfair, a bookmakers, seen on 5 July 2018:
a. The first TV ad showed a man walking through an industrial corridor then entering a door with “betfair CASINO” written on it. He was then shown walking around a large, dark room looking at projections of casino and betting games on the walls. The ad showed him looking at his phone then playing a fruit-machine style game on it.
The ad was accompanied by deep, suspenseful music, the sound of the ball on a spinning roulette wheel and a male voice-over, which stated “My gut says there’s rewards to be had. My smarts say I can find them at Betfair casino. New casino customers get 25 free spins. Betfair, where gut instinct meets smarts”.
b. The second TV ad showed the same man walking through a crowd of people on a busy street and approaching a door with the Betfair logo on it. He looked at his phone then entered the door. He was shown walking through a large, dark room with projections of football matches and betting odds on the walls being watched by various people, who the man greeted as he walked past. He reached a large screen showing a football match, paused and appeared to place a bet on his phone.
The ad was accompanied by the same deep, suspenseful music, the sounds of a football match and a male voice-over, which stated “My gut says there are good odds out there. My smarts say that Betfair has the best odds on the world cup so when I win, I win bigger. That’s why I go to Betfair. Betfair, where gut instinct meets smarts”.
The complainant challenged whether the ad breached the Code by prominently featuring someone who seemed to be under 25 years old.
Paddy Power Betfair plc t/a Betfair said the actor concerned was 27 years old and provided his date of birth. They said he did not look under 25 years old and he was dressed smartly, which made him look older. He was not dressed in clothes which were associated with youth culture, nor did he behave in an adolescent, juvenile or loutish way in the ad.
Clearcast said that it had been confirmed to them that the actor was over the age of 25 and they did not think he looked too young to feature in the ad. He was unshaven and wearing smart, suit-like trousers and a jumper that they believed people would associate with someone older than 25. He conveyed a mature and responsible demeanour.
The BCAP Code stated that ads for gambling must not feature anyone who is, or seemed to be, under 25 years old gambling or who is playing a significant role.
We noted that the actor who played the central role in the ad was 27 years old and, while he looked youthful, we did not consider that he appeared to be under 25. Nor did we consider that his styling, in smart, muted clothing and with stubble, gave the impression that he was under the age of 25.
While we acknowledged that the ad featured a young man, we considered that he did not appear to be under the age of 25.
We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 17.4.6 17.4.6 feature anyone who is, or seems to be, under 25 years old gambling or playing a significant role. No-one may behave in an adolescent, juvenile or loutish way. (Gambling), but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary