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UK advertising regulator bans stars from promoting gambling

UK advertising regulator bans stars from promoting gambling


The UK’s Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has published a series of new regulations designed to reduce the appeal of gambling advertising to audiences under the age of 18. The new rules will come into effect from October 1st and will probably mean that after at least a dozen years, viewers of televised football will no longer have superstar actor, Ray Winstone, urging them to “Have a bang on that!”

Gambling operators will no longer be allowed to promote their sites or products using what CAP describes as “top-flight footballers and footballers with a considerable following among under-18 audiences on social media.” In addition, the new rule will also be applied to non-sporting celebrities popular amongst the under-18 age group, including television stars, social media influencers and YouTubers etc. Use of imagery devised from popular video game content will also be forbidden.

CAP is responsible for the writing and maintenance of the UK’s advertising codes of practice, which are in turn monitored by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). Announcing the new regulations, CAP’s Director, Shahriar Coupal, stated: “The days of gambling advertisements featuring sports stars, video game imagery and other content of strong appeal to under-18s are numbered. By ending these practices, our new rules invite a new era for gambling ads, more particular to the adult audience they can target and more befitting of the age-restricted product they’re promoting.”

CAP told fellow industry media outlet, SBC News, that extensive guidance will accompany the new rules, to support marketers in their application of those rules, adding that advertisers will be expected to take a cautious approach when advertising gambling products. References to imagery or culture that specifically appeals to under-18s will be a problem under our new rules and could lead to ads being banned.