UK ad authority bans Ladbrokes Tweet about Jake Paul

Ladbrokes betting shop
Image: Shutterstock / jax10289

In the US, there have been several discussions about Betr co-founder Jake Paul’s core audience. Namely, whether or not the bulk of his fans are under the age of 21. Regulators in Massachusetts expressed concerns about that but did not pull the trigger.

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), on the other hand, was comfortable labeling Paul’s audience too young for sports betting.

Ladbrokes Sportsbook tweeted a poll about what was next for Paul after he lost a boxing bout to Tyson Fury in February. There was no call to action to bet and was a tweet purely to engage users, but the ASA took exception to the content of the post.

“We considered that boxing was an adult-oriented sport and one that had low appeal to under-18s. We also considered that Jake Paul would primarily be known for making YouTube videos and that he had a large social media following. We acknowledged that he had within the last few years turned to boxing. However, because of his career on YouTube, we considered that he had a high profile within the sport and was well-known outside of the sport and social media,” the ASA report noted.

However, the group was particularly concerned about Paul’s association with the Disney Channel show Bizaardvark, which he co-starred on from 2017-2018. The children’s show aired in the UK after its US debut, which the ACA concluded meant that many of Paul’s British fans would still be under 18 years of age.

Ladbrokes provided a breakdown of Paul’s social media following, noting 13% of Instagram users were 13-17 years old, 16% of YouTube users were 13-17, and on TikTok 18% of is following was under 18. Like Ladbrokes, Paul has age-gated to accounts 18 and older.

These numbers do not meet the thresholds put forth by the American Gaming Association in regard to gambling advertising, but ACA thought them troubling enough to ban the tweet given the millions of people that follow Paul across the various social media platforms.

“We noted the CAP Guidance stated that a sportsperson who was involved in a sport that had a limited following among under-18s, but was particularly well known for their social media activity and media profile, in particular through involvement in youth culture-related areas, such as fashion or music, would be more likely to be of strong appeal to under-18s, and we considered that because Jake Paul had such large numbers of followers that were under 18, he was of inherent strong appeal to under-18s,” the report concluded.