The UK advertising watchdog has dismissed two complaints against gambling company 888 UK for two videos on a YouTuber’s channel, supposedly promoting gambling to young people.
The videos involved Callum Airey, a social media star better known as Calfreezy, promoting the 888poker app, which took place in August 2021.
Two complainants, who believed Airey had a large following with young people, said the ads were directed towards those aged below 18 years, and had a particular appeal to children.
After launching an investigation, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) dismissed the complaints.
888 noted that the two videos were ads for which they paid Airey and had editorial control, explaining that one ad was not initially labelled as an ad, but has since been amended and was now described accurately.
The gambling company also noted that at least 75 per cent of Airey’s followers were over 18, therefore undermining the fact that the ads were targeted at children.
The YouTuber supported this statement by supplying three screenshots from his channel analytics, with the first ad showing that 7.5 per cent of the audience had been under 18, and the second ad showing that 6 per cent of the audience were under 18.
The figures did not breach the 25 per cent ASA threshold.
888 added that Airey was over 25 years old, and that Responsible Gambling and 18+ logos featured on both videos, as well as a 18+ verbal disclaimer on both ads. Therefore the watchdog believed adequate steps had been taken to ensure the ads did not appeal to children.
The watchdog concluded that having investigated the ads under CAP Code rules 16.1 and 16.3.12, no breach was found, and therefore no further action was needed.