Gambling Ads Exposure of Minors Drops in Q3, ASA Reports

The latest Advertising Standards Authority report reveals that the number of gambling ads breaching the age-restriction advertising rules decreased in the third quarter. Some 70 ads were identified as breaching the rules in Q2, while this number decreased to only 5 ads in Q3, 2020.

Only 5 Gambling Ads Breach the Age-Restriction Rules for Advertising in Q3

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK released its third-quarter report on Friday this week. According to the latest report, the ASA identified a total of 127 age-restricted ads for breaching the advertising rules. With that ind mind, only 5 gambling ads from 3 gambling operators, appearing on 6 websites broke the advertising rules during Q3 2020. Furthermore, zero breaches were found across YouTube channels. The Authority deemed the results for the gambling operators as “encouraging“.

The latest report covers the period from July to September 2020 and is a part of a year-long project aiming at tackling and reducing the exposure of children to age-restricted ads. The “monitoring sweep” looks into both websites and YouTube channels.

We’re encouraged to see advertisers, most notably in the gambling sector, taking steps to target their age-restricted online ads responsibly.

Guy Parker, Advertising Standards Authority Chief Executive

With this project, the ASA’s final goal is to reduce the exposure of children to inappropriately placed online ads for gambling, alcohol, e-cigarettes and tobacco, slimming and weight control products as well as food and soft drinks classified as high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS products).

The ASA pointed out that the gambling ads in its Q3 2020 report reduced significantly. In fact, in Q2, some 70 age-restricted ads were identified to break the rules, while in Q3 this number shrank to 5. Furthermore, the ASA revealed that the operators who have broken the rules during the national lockdown did not appear in the third-quarter report.

Moreover, the ASA said that many operators were contacted prior to the launch of the project and had more time to prepare their ads to steer away from children. With that in mind, the ASA hopes for this positive trend to “mirror” in other sectors.

ASA Finds 102 HFSS Ads Breaching the Advertising Rules

To conduct the monitoring, the ASA used a sample of 49 websites and 7 YouTube channels. With that in mind, the Authority outlined that the recent report does not draw conclusions about the rate of children’s exposure to age-restricted channels. Instead, the report outlines the number of breaches that were identified.

Surprisingly, the highest number of breaches for age-restricted ads was flagged for HFSS ads. A total of 102 such ads were identified to be breaching the rules. However, around half of the products were flagged as “technical breaches” which are unlikely to appeal to children. In this category, there were 35 advertisers and a total of 27 websites and 4 YouTube channels which according to the ASA broke the advertising rules.

Further to the Q3 report, 14 weight reduction ads were identified to be breaching the rules. The ads were from 2 advertisers and appeared on 8 websites and 1 YouTube channel. According to the ASA, 6 different alcohol ads broke the rules in Q3 2020. The ads were from 4 brands and appeared on 2 websites and 3 YouTube channels.

Guy Parker, the Advertising Standards Authority Chief Executive wrote in a statement that it is encouraging to see advertisers take steps to target their age-restricted online ads responsibly. He outlined that it is expected for this trend to continue. Parker said that the Authority will continue working with advertisers and take action “where necessary to build a culture of zero tolerance for age-restricted ads appearing on websites aimed at children.

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