Sky Bet ad banned for 'irresponsible' content

Keiligh Baker's picture
by Keiligh Baker

A television ad for Sky Bet promoting their “Request a Bet” service has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.

In the ad, which aired in July last year, football presenter Jeff Stelling said, “Forget ‘anything can happen’, in sport anything does happen. But could it be better? With Request a Bet it could.

"Spark your sports brain and roll all the possibilities into one bet. Three red cards, seven corners, five goals: lets price that up. Or browse hundreds of request a bets on our app. The possibilities are humongous. How big is your sports noggin?"

A large screen behind the presenter featured various odds and statistics as well as a graphic of brain waves emanating from his head.

Two complainants, who believed it implied that those with a good knowledge of sports were likely to experience gambling success, said the ad was irresponsible.

Sky Bet explained that it was accepted that knowledge of a specific sport would on the whole increase a consumer’s chances of success. Many customers researched, studied and followed sports to a degree which would give them an “edge” over a bookmaker. They said their own Trading Team used knowledge, research and information in order to set the odds of specific outcomes.

But the ASA ruled the ad must not be broadcast again in the form complained of.

It said: "The ad contained a number of references to the role of sports knowledge in betting, such as “spark your sports brain” and “how big is your sports noggin”. It also included a well-known sports presenter, who viewers would recognise as having a particular expertise in sports, and on-screen graphics used to depict brain waves and various odds.

"We considered that the ad gave an erroneous perception of the extent of a gambler’s control over betting success, by placing undue emphasis on the role of sports knowledge. We considered that this gave consumers an unrealistic and exaggerated perception of the level of control they would have over the outcome of a bet and that could lead to irresponsible gambling behaviour. We therefore concluded that the ad breached the Code."


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