New advertising codes crack-down on gambling reach, but only on TV?

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Revised standards for gambling ads in Britain will take a tougher stance on attempts to appeal to younger players.

New advertising regulations for 2019 are to clamp down on any and all perceived attempts at targeting underage gamblers.
In a new guidance document released by advertising code reviewers the Committees of Advertising Practice last week, the regulator said that the new measures constituted a “significant update” to existing codes of practice, and were applicable “across all media.”
“[We] recognise the potential risks posed to children (under-16s) and young people (16 and 17 year olds) by irresponsible gambling advertising,” said the report’s authors.“The guidance reaffirms and enhances the comprehensive protection provided by the codes: under-18s must not be addressed by gambling advertising, they should not be targeted through media placement or ad content,and ads intended for adult audiences must not contain content of particular appeal to under-18s.”
Accordingly, the CAP have decreed that as of April 1 no gam- bling adverts of any kind can be placed around media primarily aimed at under 18s, and more over – around any media of which children and young people form over 25 percent of the viewing audience. Meanwhile, in an apparent attempt at stemming the massive growth of online ads, the new codes also prohibit the targeting of groups “who are likely” to be under the age of 18 based upon data collected as to their online interests and browsing history. Additionally, they mandate that no animated characters likely to appeal to children or taken from youth culture be portrayed in any gambling advert, with these terms extended to any licensed franchise content, as well as to personalities from TV and film. Finally, as with alcohol-related broad- casting content, CAP has also ruled that no sportsperson or celebrity under the age of 25 (or appearing this young) be featured in any forward-looking gambling promotion.
With the new changes in toe, the CAP said that it was confident that the UK’s regulatory framework would prove “effective” in reducing youth expo- sure to gambling content – but conceded that loopholes may well still exist to be exploited by wily advertisers.
“The potential risks of irresponsible gambling advertising nevertheless remain and continued vigilance is therefore essential in this aspect of our work,” it said. “CAP will stay up to date with emerging evidence and commit to taking proportionate action where new risks of harm are identified.”

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