ASA reports decline in children exposure to gambling TV ads in UK

ASA reports decline in children exposure to gambling TV ads in UK

ASA reports decline in children exposure to gambling TV ads in UK
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the UK’s media watchdog, has reported a decline in children’s exposure to restricted advertisements, part of a multi-pronged effort to limit the harmful and unintended impact such ads may have on untargeted audiences or accidental viewers, such as children. ASA was able to report a marked drawdown in children’s exposure to gambling advertisements on TV, with a new report published in 2024, and conducted once every two years. The report considered the efforts made since the last report was published in 2022 and also tracked how child exposure to TV gambling ads has decreased. ASA noted that between 2010 and 2023, children’s exposure to gambling ads on TV fell by two-fifths. Children are considered individuals under the age of 16 as per the report. The decline is significant, as children’s exposure to all ads in general decreased from 226.7 ads per week back in 2010 to just 58.2 ads per week as of 2023 when the last data was processed and published. Speaking specifically about children’s exposure to gambling ads on TV, exposure to such ads dropped from 3 ads per week back in 2010 to 1.8 ads per week in 2023. In over a decade, there has been a nearly 50% decline, which among other things, goes to show how difficult reining accidental viewing by children can be and how gambling advertisements on TV can still impact this age group, even though it does not intend to. ASA has also acknowledged that reducing gambling and age-restricted ads on TV viewed accidentally by children is a cause for celebration, but it is not the full story. Online advertisement is much harder to pinpoint, with the regulator acting proactively to limit children’s exposure to gambling on the Internet, both by targeting inappropriate marketing campaigns that could appeal to children and pushing for tougher regulation. Part of the reason why children viewed less harmful ads these days is also rooted in the fact that children’s television viewing has fallen by three-quarters, with children in the United Kingdom spending around 4.6 hours per day in the United Kingdom, a steep drop from the baseline in 2010. In a recent case, ASA deemed a Buzz Bingo Halloween advertisement inappropriate as it was found to be appealing to children. In another case, a company was given notice over its use of the image and likeness of an old English national soccer player who ASA said was appealing to underage groups. As part of a much-anticipated review of the gambling industry, the UK is also considering the suspension of the use of media personalities, social media influencers, and athletes in gambling advertisements. Image credit: Unsplash.com

27 MAY 2024

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