Sky Bet ad ban reversed following review

A ruling banning a television advert for Sky Bet for suggesting that those with a knowledge of sport were more likely to gamble successfully has been reversed following an appeal by the firm.

The ad, seen in August last year, was narrated by football presenter Jeff Stelling, who said: “Spark your sports brain and roll all the possibilities into one bet … How big is your sports noggin?”

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld two complaints about the ad in March, ruling that it placed strong emphasis on the role of sports knowledge in determining betting success and warning Sky Bet to ensure in future that its ads did not condone or encourage gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible.

However it has now reversed the decision following an independent review, saying it did not consider that the ad irresponsibly exaggerated the role of sports knowledge in successful betting.

Sky Bet had argued that the ad made no reference to knowledge increasing someone’s chances of winning but added that it was accepted that knowledge of a specific sport would on the whole increase a consumer’s chances of success.

The ASA said on Wednesday: “The ad focused on the features of the particular betting service being promoted and we did not consider that it irresponsibly exaggerated the role which sports knowledge played in achieving betting success.

“The phrase ‘in sport anything does happen’ explicitly recognised the uncertain nature of sporting outcomes. We therefore concluded that the ad was not socially irresponsible and did not breach the Code.”