Football Club Has Withdrawn a Proposed Advertisement After a Warning from the Dutch Gaming Authority

March 12, 2024 | Advertising

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (March 11, 2024) — A Dutch football club has withdrawn a proposed advertisement after a warning from the Gaming Authority (Ksa). The club wanted to display a life-size image of the club captain on a prominent building in the city. Because the club has a sponsorship contract with an online gaming provider and the player in the image is wearing a shirt with the logo of that provider, the Ksa has indicated that posting the image would be a violation. The football club then decided not to implement its plan.

The Ksa was informed of the football club’s intention to depict a player on a building as a tribute. Both the gambling provider and the football club were of the opinion that this involved sports sponsorship. The Ksa has concluded that this case was not about sports sponsorship, but about untargeted advertising for online games of chance. Sports sponsorship involves a neutral mention by the sponsor of the logo or name of the license holder, for example on sports clothing of professional athletes. Furthermore, in sports sponsorship it is important that there is a direct relationship between the neutral mention of the logo or name of the license holder, the practice of the sport and the place where this sport is practiced. This is, for example, the case with a football player who plays a match in a sponsored shirt. This was not the case in this case and it therefore involved untargeted advertising for online games of chance. This would also possibly violate the ban on the use of role models, because it involved a well-known athlete.

The Ksa has informed the football club, the provider and the municipality where the advertisement would be placed of its position. In addition, the Ksa announced that if they continued with their plans, the Ksa would impose a preventive sanction. The football club then announced that it would withdraw the intended advertisement and thus cease the violation in advance.

Since July 2023, it has been prohibited to make untargeted advertising for online gambling. This means that advertising for online gambling in public spaces is prohibited, because with this form of advertising it is impossible to exclude vulnerable target groups, such as young adults. Sponsorship of, for example, TV programs and sports sponsorship also fall under this ban, but due to longer-term contracts, the ban for these forms of advertising will come into effect later (July 1, 2024 for program and event sponsorship and July 1, 2025 for sports sponsorship).

SOURCE: de Kansspelautoriteit (Ksa).

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