On October 1, new restrictions that provide more stringent safeguards for those under the age of 18 went into effect. This further strengthened the resolve of the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) to safeguard young people and vulnerable audiences.
We will now look into complaints concerning the substance of advertisements for gaming and lotteries to ensure that it is not likely to have a significant attraction to young people and children. Marketers now have a responsibility to check that their campaigns are in compliance.
In the past, the restrictions stated that advertisements may not include anything that would “special appeal” to minors. Under the new “strong” appeal standard, anything (imagery, themes, and characters) that has a high degree of attraction to those under the age of 18 will be banned, regardless of how appealing the material may be to adults.
This will have a huge effect on gambling marketers that are attempting to promote their products by using notable sports figures and celebrities, as well as persons like social media influencers, who have a high attraction to those under the age of 18. This will, in effect, drastically limit the images and allusions that gambling advertisements will be permitted to use, and it should minimize the ability of gambling advertisements to capture the attention of those under the age of 18 in an audience. For instance, advertisers won’t be able to make advantage of:
- Premier League players and other footballers who have a sizeable fanbase of young fans under the age of 18 on social media.
- Any and all athletes who are well-known to persons under the age of 18, including athletes who have a sizeable number of under-18 fans following them on social media.
- Refers to the kinds of material and gameplay that young people under the age of 18 find appealing in video games. Reality show stars whose audiences are under the age of 18, such as those from “Love Island.”
In April, CAP shared the results of its engagement with stakeholders about the ideas. The consultation was held as a response to research conducted by GambleAware that, for the first time, looked in depth at the effect of gambling advertisements in the UK. The conclusions of this analysis revealed that modifications to restrictions guidelines might assist continue to safeguard individuals under the age of 18 from the dangers associated with gambling-related advertising.
Along with the new restrictions, CAP has created a comprehensive piece of guidance to bear out the application of the new strong appeal requirement. In addition, previous advice on the interpretation of the Codes’ other provisions for under-18s has been consolidated in one guidance document.
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