Betting firm Ladbrokes has had its knuckles rapped over an ‘irresponsible’ direct email advert which featured a picture of a Manchester United footballer aged under 25.

The advert featured recent Dutch signing Memphis Depay, who is 21 years old. According to the CAP advertising code, images of people who are or who appear to be under 25 are banned from being used in marketing communications involving bookmakers. Sports people can be exempted from this, but only if they are the subject of the bet.

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) said the ad must not appear again in its current form. Ladbrokes said it had reminded its marketing team to consider the code in the future.