When it comes to non-broadcast affiliate marketing for gambling products, primary responsibility for observing the CAP Code remains with the Gambling operator.
This means that marketing materials created by your affiliates need to stick to the ad rules, otherwise you may be held either wholly or jointly responsible. This includes observing the general rules on misleading advertising and promotional marketing as well as sector specific rules and database practice requirements, such as the need to demonstrate that explicit consent has been provided by the recipient of affiliates’ email marketing.
To help you keep an eye on your affiliates, here are some of the main things you should bear in mind.
Ads must be socially responsible
Marketers need to take care when promoting age-restricted products and this extends to their affiliates. Gambling advertising must not be directed at those under the age of 18 and marketers must be able to demonstrate that they have taken reasonable steps to place or target their ads appropriately (16.3.13). For example, when using social media accounts that attract a wide array of followers, marketers (and/or their affiliates) must be able to demonstrate that the overall demographic of followers does not indicate that a gambling ad would be directed at those under the age of 18 in that space.
The content should also be responsible and not, for example, suggest that a consumer’s personality or self-image is likely to improve (16.3.6) or that they would achieve financial security (16.3.4) due to gambling.
Given that affiliate marketing is indeed marketing that falls under the Code, ads must be obviously identifiable as such (2.1). Sometimes this is clear through the context alone but where it isn’t, we usually recommend using a label like “Ad” somewhere sufficiently prominent to make it clear to consumers. Further guidance on the presentation of this label in different forms of affiliate marketing can be found here.
Marketers must ensure that significant conditions for promotions are communicated where the omission is likely to mislead (8.17). If an ad is limited by time and/or space, it may be acceptable for some of the terms and conditions of the offer to be placed one click away from the ad, provided this is made sufficiently clear. However, any term and condition that changes consumers’ understanding of an offer must be made clear within the ad itself.
If you need guidance on your marketing, or that of your affiliates, the CAP Copy Advice team are on hand to give free bespoke advice. You can also check out our eLearning module on Gambling Advertising.
- Online, catch-up TV and radio, in-app and in-game
- Mailings, email, phone/fax and messaging