New tougher gambling advertising rules with stronger protections for under-18s came into force on 1 October 2022, having been announced in the previous April. The old rules required that ads must not be of "particular appeal" to children. The new rules introduced a "strong’ appeal" test. This doesn't sound like much of a difference, but it represented a significant change. The new rule prohibits content (imagery, themes and characters) with strong appeal to under-18s, regardless of how it is viewed by adults.
CAP has now issued a reminder about the new rules, emphasising the following points:
Topflight footballers and footballers with a considerable following among under-18s on social media are likely to be high risk. Also high risk will be those personalities likely to be popular with under-18s, such as those from reality shows popular with youths, or those associated with video games popular with under-18s.
I wrote about the ASA's decision that ads featuring Premier League players Philippe Coutinho, Jesse Lingard and Kalidou Koulibaly, in social media ads breached rule 16.3.12. As they were all current Premier League players, they were considered as being well known to followers of football, especially supporters of the clubs they played for, including those under the age of 18. As we wrote at the time, the ASA did not appear to apply its own rules when making its ruling.
Many factors are considered when assessing if a personality is likely to have strong appeal to under-18s. The ASA recently investigated two cases regarding former Premier League players who are now pundits.
When assessing if Peter Crouch or Micah Richards were of strong appeal to under-18s, the ASA looked at how long they had been retired as players and their social media following on different platforms, among other factors. While both personalities have direct links to Premier League football, which is generally likely to be of strong appeal to children, their social and other media profiles were predominantly adult orientated. Therefore, these ads were found to not be of strong appeal to under-18s.
The new rules were accompanied by exemptions to allow gambling and lotteries products, particularly those related to areas of higher risk of appeal to under-18s, to be advertised within limited circumstances. This includes an exemption for ads delivered subject to strict age-verification.
If you need help with the new rules, get in touch with us, and read more here about the changes.