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An Instagram post featuring Manchester United midfielder Mason Mount has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

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The image was uploaded by freebetsdotcom, a sports betting affiliate brand owned and operated by XLMedia.

Coming of age

The regulator’s CAP code states that no one under the age of 25 should play a significant role in marketing communications for gambling.

Two complainants pointed out the post was in breach of regulations as England midfielder Mount is still only 24, having been born in 1999.

The ASA said it was “irresponsible” to feature someone under 25 in the marketing material.

“Although we acknowledged that freebetsdotcom’s service was not itself gambling, using it would place consumers in a position where they would be interacting with gambling services,” said the ASA in a ruling.

The ASA ruled the ad must not appear again in its current form and referred the matter to the CAP’s compliance team.

Right to reply

XLMedia failed to respond to any of the ASA’s enquiries regarding the prohibited ad.

The regulator said it was “concerned” by the lack of response and “apparent disregard” for the rules.

It reminded the company of its responsibility to respond promptly to regulator questions.

BetVictor, bet365 and Ladbrokes have all fallen foul of ASA guidelines on gambling advertising in 2023 for using footballers and managers in marketing material.