Age restriction violations for gambling ads drop in Q4 2020

The number of age restriction violations in UK gambling advertisements fell in Q4 2020 according to the Advertising Standards Authority.

In its latest monitoring sweep report, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has revealed that age restriction violations in UK gambling advertisements have fallen.

The ASA’s “monitoring sweep” forms part of a year-long project in which the ASA aims to expand its resources in screening and identifying online advertising that relates to age-restricted products.

The ASA’s report

The ASA analysed adverts that involved gambling, alcohol, tobacco and other products aimed at adults or that could be considered harmful to children over a three month period between October and December 2020 using its monitoring tools.

Across a sample of 49 websites and 12 Youtube channels, the UK advertising authority’s report found that 47 age-restricted advertisements were in violation of the ASA’s regulations.

Looking closer at the reports’ findings, 21 advertisers placed age-restricted marketing content on eight Youtube channels and 23 websites where the main viewership was underage.

Of the adverts listed in the report, only three were related to gambling which was spread across three websites but they were all published by the same advertising agency. 

While gambling-related ad violations dropped from Q3, advertising for alcohol, tobacco and weight loss products remained level.

For alcohol advertising violations, the ASA picked up six different alcohol ads from five advertisers on six websites. When it came to the advertising of weight reduction products, there were 11 ads by three advertisers on eight websites and one YouTube channel that were in breach of regulations.

In regard to advertising for products high in fat, salt or sugar (HFFS), the ASA highlighted 27 ads by 12 advertisers on 16 websites and 8 YouTube channels.

Advertising Standards Authority Chief Executive, Guy Parker said: “We’re pleased to see the number of age-restricted ads we picked up on, in particular for HFSS food and drink, reduce significantly. We remain alive to concerns and we will be monitoring and reporting on this again. But we’re making significant progress in our ambition to build a culture of zero tolerance for age-restricted ads appearing on websites aimed at children and we expect that progress to continue.”

A drop in gambling exposure

In November 2020, the ASA revealed that monitoring sweep recorded a drop in underage gambling ad exposure in Q3.

For the period covering July to the end of September, the ASA identified five betting adverts from three gambling operators across six different websites that breached age restriction rules.

The latest figures from the ASA go to show that there is a significant drop in the number of gambling ads that could expose underage or vulnerable people to gambling products.

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