May 17, 2023 3 min read


Kwiff Faces ASA Sanction for Underage Marketing Violations

The online sports betting operator allegedly released promotional material on a web page directed at young football fans

The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) discovered a Kwiff ad right next to an article on the Portsmouth FC website, urging young people to join the Junior Blues. The operator denied the accusations, noting that its online marketing software specifically avoided targeting minors. However, The ASA refused to change its decision, stating the circumstances surrounding the incident were sufficient cause for a sanction.

Marketing Mishaps Seem Increasingly Common

The ASA’s decision is part of its ongoing efforts to ensure responsible gambling practices and protect vulnerable individuals, particularly minors, from potential harm. The UK advertising regulator has been increasingly more vigilant regarding gambling operators following the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS)’s drive to evaluate the severity of the country’s gambling-related issues.

Online marketing, in particular, occupies much of the authority’s attention as policing the vast online landscape requires significant resources. Just mere days ago, the ASA received word of high-profile operator Coral allegedly targeted blogs frequented by new mothers. Even though companies try to avoid such cases, this case and the most recent Kwiff violation prove the need for effective regulation.

The Regulator Stood Firm in Its Decision

According to the ASA’s findings, a Kwiff ad had appeared next to an article titled “Join the Junior Blues,” informing youth how to join Portsmouth FC’s junior supporter groups. The regulator argued that, knowingly or not, the marketing content’s placement directed it at individuals under 18. The presence of Portsmouth FC’s cartoon mascot in the article further exacerbated the issue, contrasting the nearby gambling ad.

The Kwiff brand is the property of Eaton Gate Gaming, a UK-based gaming start-up. Company representatives disputed the ASA sanctions, denying targeting underage individuals. The business highlighted its automated behavioral targeting tool, noting it was precise enough to maximize ad revenue while limiting exposure to underage individuals. 

Eaton Gate claimed they strictly abided by the ASA guidelines and had implemented sufficient safeguards to minimize such cases. However, the regulator remained unconvinced, noting that, intentionally or not, the ad was visible next to content specifically aimed at minors. The ASA argued that the unfortunate placement was sufficient to warrant a response and did not withdraw their sanction.

Because the ad appeared in the context of a web page… directed at those younger than 18 years, it did not comply with the rules on gambling advertising.

UK Advertising Standards Authority statement

The ASA’s decision to sanction Kwiff sends a powerful message to the gambling industry about the importance of adhering to responsible marketing practices. It serves as a reminder that operators must remain vigilant in preventing underage individuals from accessing or engaging with gambling content and carefully monitor their campaigns for possible violations.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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