An advertising campaign by Paddy Power offering money back on bets if Luis Suarez scored during a Liverpool vs Manchester United game has been rapped by the ASA because Suarez was under 25 at the time.
Under CAP Code rule 16.3.14, ads for gambling services should not feature those under 25 years of age gambling or playing a significant role.
The advert, which appeared in The Sun on 15 October 2011, received a complaint that it was socially irresponsible.
Paddy Power plc and News International Ltd said they did not believe the ad would have particular appeal to young or vulnerable people, or encourage young people to gamble, on the basis of Luis Suarez's age or image. They confirmed that Suarez was 24 years old, but said they featured Suarez in the ad as he was the subject of the bet, and he was featured in his role as a professional footballer, rather than in connection with the act of gambling.
The ASA said: “We noted Paddy Power believed that because he was the subject of the bet, Suarez was not playing a significant role in relation to the act of gambling.
“However, we considered that because he was pictured individually and was the focus of the ad, he was likely to be seen by consumers to be playing a significant role. As a result, we concluded that the ad breached the Code.”
The body told Paddy Power not to feature those who were under 25 years of age in its ads.