We know her, of course, as something between the Tracy Austin of Poker and Johnny Moss of WSOP-E. But that makes no difference … even in the UK, poker is still poker, and thus Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority has banned an ad for Betfair featuring Annette Obrestad, after a complaint about her celebrated screen name, Annette_15.
The ad for Betfair showed a photo of a young woman with the tagline “Online experience is measured in games, not years. Join the new breed. Annette_15″.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint made about the advert, saying it “was likely to have particular appeal to children and young people, and that, by representing a successful young poker player with the implication she was 15 years old, it could encourage young people to gamble and was therefore irresponsible”.
NOTE TO SELF: Scrap plans for British Under-12 and Under-14 Poker Championships.
What might be surprising to Americans is that this advertisement wasn’t a billboard next to a schoolyard or anything like that, it was a Betfair email promotion — sent out to their own registered players. But what really got them is that the ASA apparently has a rule that says “no one under 25 years of age should be featured gambling in a marketing communication, or playing a significant role.” Case closed. Annette Obrestead is only 20. (She turns 21 on Friday.)
As a result:
“Notwithstanding that, Betfair said clear instructions had been given to their marketing department not to use Annette Obrestad again in marketing material directed at UK consumers and they were disappointed she had been, and apologised for the error.”
Ironic … regulatory attempts to prevent young children from gambling push a young adult to make more of her living on the tables, having severely hampered her off-the-table earning potential until 2013.