UK
15/09/2015 10:05 BST | Updated 16/09/2015 03:59 BST

Gambling Company Fruit King Has Advert Banned For Child Slave 'Joke' About Arsene Wenger

Britain's advertising watchdog has banned an "offensive" online gambling advert for likening an embattled Premier League manager to a child slave in the Middle East.

Fruity King, which runs mobile gambling games, has apologised to the Yemeni community about its tweet about Arsene Wenger posted in April, which it now admits was a "tasteless joke".

The promoted tweet mocked the Arsenal Football Club manager, who was screamed at by angry fans last year.

Wenger was told to "f**k off and leave" and hassled with cries of "boo" at a train station after Arsenal lost a game against Stoke:

Calling him 'Arsene Winger', Fruity King's tweet compared the abuse Wenger has suffered while managing Arsenal to the physical abuse suffered by Yemeni child slaves in Saudi Arabia.

Many children from Yemen are trafficked to Saudi Arabia, where they endure appalling treatment, sometimes sold by their families who believe their children will get a better life.

The ad, in a promoted tweet, said: “Arsene Whinger has suffered more abuse from Arsenal fans over the last 9 years than a Yemeni child slave in Saudi Arabia."

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Wenger has suffered verbal abuse from fans

The tweet appears to have since been deleted, but a record of it can still be seen on Twitter tracking sites like Trendogate:

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A record of the tweet remains

One person complained about the tweet, saying that relating international child abuse to football was offensive. The Advertising Standards Authority, which rules on ads that attract complaints, agreed.

It said in its ruling: "The ASA understood that there were reports of children, who were particularly vulnerable to slavery, being trafficked into neighbouring states.

"We therefore considered that comparing the amount of abuse a football manager received to that of a Yemeni child trafficked into slavery was entirely inappropriate for an ad and concluded that the promoted tweet was likely to cause serious and widespread offence."

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Fruity King said the tweet was a "one-off"

Fruity King apologised to the Yemeni community for any offence caused, but said it "did not believe that the tweet caused serious or widespread offence and that it was a tasteless joke with no malicious intent."

In its defence, it added that the tweet was a "one-off" and was posted by its advertising agency that it no longer works with.

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But the ASA banned the ad, and said it must not be tweeted or used again.

"We told Fruity King that they should take particular care when making reference to real world or current events to avoid causing serious or widespread offence," the watchdog added.