ASA rules Bet MGM TV Ad featuring Chris Rock did not breach code

Shirley Pulis Xerxen 2 months ago
ASA rules Bet MGM TV Ad featuring Chris Rock did not breach code

Bet MGM’s recent TV ad, which was broadcast in October of last year, starring comedian Chris Rock, came under scrutiny following complaints that Rock’s presence could strongly appeal to individuals under the age of 18, potentially breaching advertising codes. In response, Bet MGM asserted that they rigorously assessed Rock’s suitability for the campaign, highlighting his adult-oriented career and minimal association with child-focused content.

In its response to the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), Bet MGM conducted a comprehensive evaluation of Chris Rock’s public image, emphasising his extensive work in adult-themed films and stand-up comedy shows. They argued that Rock’s portrayal in the ad was aligned with his adult-focused persona, supported by demographic data gathered from his social media profiles. This data suggested that most of Rock’s followers were over 18, indicating his limited appeal to younger audiences.

Evaluation of Chris Rock’s significance

The assessment of Chris Rock’s significance in popular culture played a crucial role in Bet MGM’s defence. They referenced Rock’s involvement in adult-themed films such as “Amsterdam,” “Spiral,” and “The One and Only Dick Gregory,” emphasising his recognition as an adult-focused personality. Furthermore, Bet MGM analysed Rock’s social media presence, noting that the content shared on platforms like Instagram and X (formerly Twitter) primarily catered to adult audiences, further supporting their argument regarding Rock’s appeal to under-18s.

Bet MGM’s analysis extended to Rock’s past roles in family-oriented films like “Grown Ups” and “Grown Ups 2,” released in the early 2010s. Despite these films being available on streaming services, Bet MGM contended that the content was not heavily marketed towards children, and Rock’s evolving appearance since their release reduced the likelihood of strong appeal to minors.

ASA Assessment and verdict

Following a thorough investigation under BCAP Code rules, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) concluded that Bet MGM’s TV ad did not breach advertising guidelines. The ASA acknowledged Chris Rock’s established career in adult-oriented entertainment and the ad’s presentation of adult-focused themes, ultimately determining that no further action was necessary. Bet MGM’s meticulous evaluation of Rock’s public image and appeal to under-18s contributed to the ASA’s decision, highlighting the importance of considering a spokesperson’s broader context and relevance in advertising campaigns.

SiGMA Americas

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