ASA investigates ‘Geordie Shore’ stars for promoting betting content via social media

The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is investigating three stars of MTV’s reality TV programme ‘Geordie Shore’ for promoting betting-related content through their social media profiles.

The Twitter and Instagram accounts of Scott Timlin, Gary Beadle and Aaron Chalmers are reported to have promoted the football betting markets of Ladbrokes and Coral.

Between them, the reality TV stars have a combined +15 million followers, across their social media profiles. ASA has expressed concerns that the celebrity accounts may have ‘inappropriately targeted’ young and vulnerable viewers.

Current UK advertising laws attached to social media verticals, state that celebrities and influencers must disclose that corporate endorsements are advertising-related content.

ASA is reported to have previously warned Gary Beadle with regards to promoting betting markets. Furthermore, ASA detailed that it would contact the bookmakers’ whose markets have been promoted.

Ladbrokes Coral marketing has issued a statement, detailing that Timlin, Beadle and Chalmers, promoted Ladbrokes and Coral betting markets as ‘standard affiliates’.

The betting group states that the celebrities promoted the markets under the terms of its affiliate marketing programme which is compliant with ASA and the CAP [Committees of Advertising Practice] directives.

Reacting to the news, Marc Etches CEO of industry charity GambleAware, indicated concerns with regards to the celebrities’ social profiles having a vast outreach to younger viewers.

Reality TV stars have extensive social followings. Their fans trust them and are influenced by their views.

“In particular, we are concerned about the normalisation of gambling for children and young people who are increasingly exposed to gambling around live sport, on TV and via their mobiles.”