An “irresponsible” tweet by Ladbrokes has been banned for featuring YouTube star Jake Paul.
A post in February featured an image of the YouTuber and professional boxer with the caption: “@TommyTNTFury beat @JakePaul by split decision last night. So, we’ve got to ask the question… What’s next for Jake Paul? Vote here now.”
At the bottom of the tweet, the gambling company also linked to a poll with the options: “Win the re-match”, “Head to the MMA”, “Return to YouTube” and “Join the WWE”.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) investigated whether the social media post breached rules for including Paul, as he may have a strong appeal for people under the age of 18.
The YouTuber is known to be popular among teenagers and now has over 20 million subscribers on the streaming channel.
In response to the ASA, Ladbrokes said it was published after the fight between Paul and Tommy Fury and did not include any “calls to action”, such as promotional offers or links back to its site.
It also said its Twitter feed and respective tweets were age-gated – an age verification system – and therefore could not be accessed by users unless the social media site had accepted their age as being 18.
The company acknowledged that Paul has a significant social media following but said details of his follower demographics suggested that 16% of his YouTube subscribers were registered as being between 13 and 17 years old.
It also said that 0% of his Twitter followers were “registered as being under 18”.
However, the ASA argued that Paul is primarily known for making YouTube videos and had 65 million followers across YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and Twitter – with around three million registered as under 18 on each of the YouTube, TikTok and Instagram platforms.
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The ASA said Paul is considered to have a “strong appeal” for those under the age of 18.
From 2016 to 2018, Paul was featured on a children’s TV programme called Bizaardvark, which the ASA said the YouTuber was likely to have some audience members under the age of 18 when the Ladbrokes ad appeared.
The ASA said: “Whilst the programme had ended in 2019 in the US, we considered that he was still well known for having appeared on that programme and that it was still available on UK streaming services.
“We therefore considered that Jake Paul had strong appeal to under-18s.
“For those reasons, we considered that the ad was irresponsible and breached the code.”
The ASA said the post must not appear again or involve people who have a strong presence with people under 18.