New rules are now in place in the United Kingdom to protect vulnerable groups including the under-18 crowd. This week, it was announced that companies associated with gambling and betting services are no longer allowed to advertise their services with sports stars and celebrities. The Advertising Standards Authority will not allow such stars as Cristiano Ronaldo or Harry Redknapp to be featured on television, within stadiums, or in video games.
Understanding the New Rules
In the past, the United Kingdom rules stated that advertising was banned if it was likely to appeal to an individual under the age of 18 rather than an adult. With the new rules, an ad is banned if it appeals to children or young people, especially based on youth culture, no matter how it is viewed by adults.
The new rules will go into effect by October, just before the World Cup takes place in Qatar in November. Usually, the World Cup is a hotbed of advertising, with betting and gambling providers spending a ton of cash to market their services in an attempt to attract gamblers. This will no longer be the case, at least in the sense that popular sports stars and celebrities are concerned.
The Committee of Advertising Practice is in charge of setting the rules enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority. The Director of the committee, Shahriar Coupal, commented on the change by stating:
“No more top-flight footballers or other high-profile sportspeople promoting the latest odds. No more social media influencers, TV stars or other celebrities popular with children inviting us to bet on red. And no more gambling ads featuring video game images or gameplay familiar to many children’s lives.”
Once the new rules are in place, gambling and betting brands will no longer be able to use any type of celebrity that has a significant fanbase in the under-18 crowd for advertising. The rules are connected to several forms of media including television, radio, movie ads, online, newspapers, posters, and billboards.
According to the Advertising Standards Authority, children were seeing 2.2 ads a week connected to betting or gambling. This is low considering numbers from the past, but the officials would like to see the number of ads seen by children decrease even further.
The rule changes should significantly affect the types of gambling ads seen in the future. Companies will need to focus on the adult audience and ensure that all content is focused on the older generations due to the nature of the age-restricted product.