Zoë Osmond, GambleAware CEO

GambleAware praises CAP for following its recommendation to implement under-18 protections 

Yesterday’s announcement of tough new rules on gambling advertising by CAP – The Committee of Advertising Practice – have been welcomed as the correct decision by GambleAware. 

Effective from 1 October, operator marketing teams will have to ensure that their advertising campaigns carry no engagement with youth culture.

CAP’s latest move will prohibit UK licensed operators from working with high-profile sports stars and celebrities, with the aim of better protecting under-18 audiences from exposure to gambling products. 

The committee, which serves as the watchdog of UK advertising across traditional and digital formats, devised its gambling rules following its response to GambleAware’s ‘Final Synthesis Report that measured the impact of gambling advertising on young people and vulnerable adults.

Citing GambleAware’s research, CAP stated that it “identified a significant association between reported exposure to advertising of under-18s, who were nongamblers, and their intention to gamble; researchers considered this an indicator of their susceptibility to gambling”.

Of significance, the advertising monitor noted that “the qualitative segment of the research also provided several significant insights on the appeal of advertising content both to under-18s and vulnerable adults”.

GambleAware Chief Executive Zoe Osmond praised CAP’s decision to curb gambling advertising engagement with young audiences as “absolutely right”.

“We are pleased to see this proactive measure to protect under-18s from exposure to gambling adverts,” she explained.  

“We are also delighted that GambleAware’s research led to these steps being taken. Our research, published in 2020, showed that 94% of 11-17-year-olds in Great Britain had been exposed to gambling adverts in the last month, seeing six adverts on average.

“Nearly two thirds of this group had seen gambling adverts on social media, while nearly half had seen sports teams, games or events sponsored by a gambling operator.”

Questioned on how it intends to define a threshold for gambling adverts deemed to be targeting under-18s, CAP responded to SBC: “Extensive guidance accompanies the new rules to support marketers in their application of those rules.

“We expect advertisers to take a cautious approach when advertising gambling products. References to imagery or culture that specifically appeals to under-18s would be a problem under our new rules and could lead to ads being banned.”

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