Annette_15 Ad Banned in UK

British government squelches marketing of WSOP-Europe champ

by , Sep 15, 2009 | 5:28 pm

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.

Rough beat.

11 Comments to “Annette_15 Ad Banned in UK ”

  1. Kevin Mathers

    n) should not include a child or young person. No-one who is, or seems to be, under 25 years old may be featured gambling or playing a significant role. No-one may behave in an adolescent, juvenile or loutish way.

    Wonder if Annette’s going to lose her sponsorship.

  2. brdpoker

    At least she didn’t behave “loutishly.”

  3. DanM

    I suppose it also means no Peter Eastgate in the UK for PokerStars. not sure where that all comes into play with the Isle of Man.

  4. Kevin Mathers

    I think Annette’s more heavily tied to Betfair than Peter’s tied to PokerStars regarding advertising, especially in the UK.

  5. DanM

    Good point. Just another checkbox to be aware of for the other sites and other young pros. Much more significant for Betfair and Annette.

    Thanks for digging up the actual law/code, btw.

  6. Kevin Mathers

    Thinking Annette’s losing her sponsorship is way off after further thought. However, this appears to change how Betfair will handle online poker, opening up a sponsorship opportunity for an older player.

  7. DanM

    Serious question, though, as it pertains to marketing … can she still blog for them?

    (I know a guy connected to their blog, but he doesn’t know the answer yet.)

  8. Kevin Mathers

    Like I really know the answer, but if she had a blog on the Betfair site, it would seem alright. Another thought that just popped in: Will Annette have to change her username?

  9. Dave

    Speaking totally unofficially, I think the ASA only have power to moniter certain things.

    From their website. “….the ASA also recognises a distinction between media that consumers have chosen to access and material that they have not purposefully sought out to view.”

  10. Poker Shrink

    I think the U.S. based bloggers are missing the point here. The UK has once again demonstrated that there are uptight, politically correct, reactionary fools in places other than the United States and Afghanistan.

  11. Dave

    @Poker Shrink – You should have ended your comment with a smilie – we Brits don’t understand sarcasm:)