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Club Website warned by ASA after gambling promotion sent to minor

8th January 2014 8:59 am GMT

UK football team website operator Club Website has been warned by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after a promotional email for betting concierge service Bet Butler was mistakenly sent to an underage subscriber.

An email offering a £25 “risk-free” bet on Bet Butler was sent to subscribers of Club Website, which hosts a website and central management system for UK-based football teams, prompting a single complaint.

The complainant queried whether the ad was appropriately targeted, as it had been sent to his 10 year-old son.

Club Website explained that when a new user signed up for their service, the user could opt in to receive promotional emails. Should they do so, their details would be organised into under- and over-18s by a website administrator to ensure they did not receive inappropriate content.

On this occasion, the company explained, the administrator had mistakenly logged the minor in the over-18 group. It said that it would review its internal procedures to look at implementing stricter controls to protect younger users, such as having administrators checking age group settings.

Bet Butler operator Betclearer said that it used Club Website as an affiliate marketing partner which allowed the company to promote its services and register new users. It explained that it had approved distribution of the email based on the fact that Club Website had controls to ensure inappropriate content was not sent to minors, adding that data management and administering opt-outs was the responsibility of its partner.

However, the ASA upheld the complaint, ruling that it breached rules 16.1, 16.2 and 16.3.13 of the CAP Code, all relating to gambling.

While the ASA noted that Club Website was willing to review its procedures to ensure more was done to protect minors, it said that as a gambling ad was sent to an under-18, it was inappropriately targeted.

The authority explained that marketing communications for gambling should be socially responsible, notably with the need to protect children. It also said that gambling ads should not be directed to under-18s, in any form.

The ASA concluded by warning Club Website to ensure future gambling ads were not sent to minors.

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