ASA: Underage gambling ad exposure decreases in Q3
The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) applauds the gambling sector for its successful attempts on putting an end to advertisements that are appealing to children and minors, after a significant decline in child-friendly ads was observed in Q3.
The Advertising Standards Authority said it identified five betting adverts from three gambling operators across six websites that breached its age restriction guidelines in its monitoring report ranging from July to the end of September. Q2 followed with a sharp drop, during which the ASA flagged 70 adverts from four operators on eight different websites.
The ASA has flagged, in total, 127 age-restricted ads from 44 advertisers across 27 websites and four YouTube channels that were categorized as potentially being able to attract a disproportionately large child audience. The sweep covers gambling, alcohol, tobacco and e-cigarettes, weight control products and food and soft drinks classified as high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS).
As it happens, the ASA had bigger problems to worry about in the quarter than gambling, as gambling landed behind alcohol, who had six adverts, 14 related to weight reduction and 102 HFSS ads. On the contrary, no ads for e-cigarettes were picked up during the monitoring period.
“We’re encouraged to see advertisers, most notably in the gambling sector, taking steps to target their age-restricted online ads responsibly,” said ASA chief executive Guy Parker. “We expect that trend to continue, particularly amongst HFSS advertisers, throughout the remainder of this project and beyond. We’ll continue working with advertisers and taking action where necessary to build a culture of zero tolerance for age-restricted ads appearing on websites aimed at children.”
The crackdown on such advertising comes after the ASA stated in May that children’s exposure to gambling ads has decreased compared to their exposure in 2008.
The ASA’s 2019 update on the monitoring of children’s exposure to advertising for age-restricted products revealed that children saw, on average, 2.5 gambling ads on TV every week. This shows that the rate of exposure has fallen to 2008 and 2009 levels, when children saw 2.2. and 2.7 gambling ads on TV, respectively.
As of late, the ASA has been issuing a number of warnings over age-related concerns with gambling adverts. This week, tipster service Thebettingman was rebuked after its feature of someone under the age of in an Instagram story promoting the brand. Last month, GVC’s Gala Spins was also sanctioned over a social media advert that drew criticism over its potential appeal to children.