Wednesday 13 February 2019 1:05 am

Regulator rolls out new standards to protect children from gambling adverts

The UK advertising regulator today unveiled a raft of new standards designed to protect children and young people from irresponsible gambling adverts.

The Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP), which writes the rules for advertising in the UK, has rolled out a series of measures to ensure gambling brands do not target children in their campaigns.

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The new standards prevent advertisers from using data to targets groups of people under 18 and from using sportspeople or celebrities who appear under 25 in their adverts.

The measures also list types of content, such as characters from films or TV shows, that should not be used in gambling campaigns.

CAP director Shahriar Coupal said: “Playing at the margins of regulatory compliance is a gamble at the best of times, but for gambling advertisers it’s particularly ill-advised, especially when the welfare of children is at stake.”

The new standards follow a review of the evidence on the impact of advertising on under-18s and rulings handed down by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which enforces the rules written by CAP.

CAP has issued guidance to advertisers outlining how they should act on various platforms in order to comply with the new standards.

Gambling firms must use all available tools on social media to ensure adverts are not targeted at under-18s, CAP said. The advertising body also told gambling companies to take “particular care” when choosing influencers to promote their products or brands.

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The move comes after a series of rulings by the ASA as part of a crackdown on gambling adverts deemed likely to appeal to children.

In December some of the UK’s largest betting firms agreed to a so-called whistle-to-whistle ban, preventing them from airing adverts during live sporting events.