Regulator bans gambling firm advert featuring West Ham footballer Declan Rice
PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 January 2020
PA Wire/PA Images
A YouTube advert featuring West Ham footballer Declan Rice has been banned because of his age.
The clip on gambling firm Betway's account, seen in October, showed a car clamp prank being played on the midfielder.
A viewer complained that the ad breached advertising rules by featuring Rice, who was under 25 years old.
The Advertising Standards Authority's (ASA) code state that gambling advertisements must not feature anyone who is, or appears to be, under 25, either gambling or in a significant role.
Betway confirmed that Rice was 20 years old at the time the video was broadcast.
However, the firm said the clip did not feature the player in a sporting context, did not refer to odds or promotions and contained no link to the Betway website where a bet could be placed, describing it as "editorial content" rather than an ad.
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The ASA said the video appeared on the Betway YouTube channel, featured sportsmen who consumers would be able to place bets on in the future and were wearing football shirts with a prominent Betway logo, and ended with the brand name Betway.
The watchdog said: "We therefore considered that the video was promoting the Betway brand.
"Because Declan Rice was under the age of 25, and played a significant role in the ad, we concluded that the ad breached the code."
A Betway spokesman said: "Although the prank was genuinely intended as a stunt for content purposes rather than an advert, Betway fully accept the ASA ruling and have already removed the video."
There are strict restrictions around adverts connected to gambling, which must not be likely to appeal to children or young people, or portray betting in certain ways.
Betway became the principal sponsor of West Ham in February 2015 in a deal which saw the company's logo feature on the front of shirts and traning tops worn by the men's and women's senior teams.
The logo does not feature on shirts worn by academy players, or on replica kit in junior sizes.
The ASA ruled the Betway ad must not appear again in its current form.