HomeInsightsGambling Advertising: Never work with animals or children


The Advertising Standards Authority yesterday issued two reminders to the gambling industry around some key principles in connection with issues relating to social responsibility and the use of animals in advertising.

These can be found here: https://www.asa.org.uk/news/don-t-be-a-joker-gambling-and-the-ad-rules.html and https://www.asa.org.uk/news/the-particular-appeal-of-animals.html

These are, in essence, restatements of the ASA’s existing position on these topics which are illustrated by decisions issued between 2015-2020. Although there is nothing new here, they clearly serve to highlight that these are matters which the ASA continue to encounter and that particular care should be taken by operators and marketing affiliates.

Perhaps of more interest is the news (buried in the ASA’s Annual Report on Protecting Young and Vulnerable People – which can be read in full here: https://www.asa.org.uk/resource/annual-report-2020-protecting-young-and-vulnerable-people.html ) that the ASA intends to provide an update in mid-2021 on the outcome of its 2020 public consultation on proposals to introduce new strengthened rules and guidance to better protect children and young people (under-18s) and vulnerable people from potential gambling-advertising related harms. Perhaps the most material signposted development featured in that consultation was a proposal that the current test around the potential appeal of a gambling advert to under-18s being by reference to it having “particular appeal” (very roughly translated as more appealing to under-18s than to adults) be changed so that the test will become one of “strong appeal”. Although perhaps equally subjective, it is clear that it will represent a lower threshold. The proof will be in the pudding (i.e. the detailed guidance) but, as we have previously commented (read here for more details – https://www.wiggin.co.uk/insight/gambling-advertising-the-end-of-celebrity-endorsement-deals/?topics=betting-and-gaming&return=/front-runner/ ) this is expected to present significant challenges in relation to endorsements deals with sporting stars and celebrities. More news as we have it….