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ASA rules in favour of BetMGM’s Chris Rock ad

After careful examination, the ASA ultimately ruled that the ad did not breach advertising codes.

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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled on a TV advertisement for BetMGM featuring American comedian Chris Rock.

Broadcast on 4 October 2023, the ad depicted Chris Rock in various scenarios, including spinning a ball on his finger, accompanied by the tagline: "We're Bet MGM and we know how to put on a show."

The issue arose from concerns that Rock's appearance in the ad might strongly appeal to individuals under 18, thus breaching advertising regulations.

In response to complaints, BetMGM provided a detailed rationale behind selecting Chris Rock as their ambassador.

The operator argued that Rock's career profile predominantly focused on adult-oriented stand-up comedy and roles in adult-themed films – thus not strongly appealing to those under 18.

Additionally, they highlighted Rock's limited association with children's animation films, most notably the Madagascar franchise, but stressed that any association with such roles was outdated and insignificant.

Furthermore, BetMGM assessed Rock's social media presence, indicating that the overwhelming majority of his followers were adults, with a negligible proportion under 18.

The brand additionally pointed out the contextual elements of the ad, such as adult-themed imagery and references to Las Vegas, which would not strongly attract minors.

After examination, the ASA ruled that the ad did not breach advertising codes, thereby 'slapping away' any such concerns...

It acknowledged Rock's limited association with children's entertainment but deemed it insufficient to strongly appeal to under-18s, particularly considering the passage of time since his involvement in such projects.

The ad was therefore deemed as being compliant with advertising standards.

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