ASA monitoring sweep records drop in underage gambling ad exposure in Q3

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has praised the gambling industry for its efforts to crack down on advertising that may appeal to children.

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) latest monitoring sweep recorded a significant drop in underage gambling ad exposure in the third quarter of 2020.

In its last monitoring sweep, the ASA revealed that the gambling sector was one of the worst offenders when it came to advertising that appealed to underage audiences.

The ASA’s monitoring sweep

In its second monitoring sweep, covering the period from 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.

This marked a substantial drop from the ASA’s Q2 monitoring sweep, which saw the advertising body flag 70 gambling adverts from four operators across eight different websites.

ASA chief executive Guy Parker welcomed the progress. He said:  “We’re encouraged to see advertisers, most notably in the gambling sector, taking steps to target their age-restricted online ads responsibly. We expect that trend to continue, particularly amongst HFSS advertisers, throughout the remainder of this project and beyond.

 “We’ll continue working with advertisers and taking action where necessary to build a culture of zero tolerance for age-restricted ads appearing on websites aimed at children.”

The reduction in gambling advertising comes after the advertising body revealed in May that children’s exposure to gambling advertising had fallen to 2008 levels.

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.

Age-restricted products include gambling, e-cigarettes and tobacco, alcohol, slimming and weight loss products.

Two recent sanctions

In recent weeks, the ASA has issued several warnings to businesses operating in the gambling space over age-related concerns with advertising material.

Last week, the tipster service, Thebettingman, was issued a warning after a reality TV star promoted the brand in an Instagram story post while he was under the age of 25.

The ASA also sanctioned GVC’s Gala Spins brand last month over a social media advert that had the potential to appeal to children.

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