Don't gamble on what appeals to kids

New rules protecting under-18s came into force on 1 October 2022, further strengthening the Committee of Advertising Practice’s (CAP’s) commitment to protect young and other vulnerable people from gambling advertising-related harms.

Don't gamble on strong appeal

The previous restrictions on creative content required that ads must not be of ‘particular appeal’ to under-18s. The new rules are based on a ‘strong’ appeal test, which prohibits content (imagery, themes, and characters) that has a significant level of appeal to under-18s, regardless of how it is viewed by adults.  

Odds are it’s a risk

Topflight footballers and footballers with a considerable following among under-18s on social media are likely to be high risk. Also high risk will be those personalities likely to be popular with under-18s, such as those from reality shows popular with youths, or those associated with video games popular with under-18s.

The ASA recently ruled that ads featuring Premier League players Philippe Coutinho, Jesse Lingard and Kalidou Koulibaly, in social media ads breached rule 16.3.12. As they were all current Premier League players, they were considered as being well known to followers of football, especially supporters of the clubs they played for, including those under the age of 18.

For a safer bet

Many factors are considered when assessing if a personality is likely to have strong appeal to under-18s. The ASA recently investigated two cases regarding former Premier League players who are now pundits.

When assessing if Peter Crouch or Micah Richards were of strong appeal to under-18s, the ASA looked at how long they had been retired as players and their social media following on different platforms, among other factors. While both personalities have direct links to Premier League football, which is generally likely to be of strong appeal to children, their social and other media profiles were predominantly adult orientated. Therefore, these ads were found to not be of strong appeal to under-18s.

An exceptional finish

The new rules are accompanied by exemptions to allow gambling and lotteries products, particularly those related to areas of higher risk of appeal to under-18s, to be advertised within limited circumstances. This includes an exemption for ads delivered subject to strict age-verification.

Details of these, along with more on the approach to ensuring compliance is included in CAP’s guidance, published alongside the rules. And for bespoke advice on non-broadcast ads, our Copy Advice team are happy to help.

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