Influencers, reality TV stars and sports people hit by new rules on gambling advertisements


The Committee for Advertising Practice (CAP) has announced today the introduction of tough new rules for gambling ads.  These rules will significantly impact gambling advertisers looking to promote their brands using prominent influencers, sports people, and celebrities who are of strong appeal to those under-18.

The new rules state that gambling and lottery ads must not: “be likely to be of strong appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture.” In practical terms this means that ads promoting gambling will no longer be able to use:

  • Stars from reality TV shows popular with under-18s, such as Love Island. 

  • References to video game content and gameplay popular with under-18s.

  • All sports people well-known to under-18s, including sportspeople with a considerable volume of under-18 followers on social media.

The new rules mark a step-change from the existing rules that gambling ads must not be of ‘particular appeal’ to children. A ‘strong’ appeal test prohibits content (imagery, themes and characters) that has a strong level of appeal to under-18s regardless of how it is viewed by adults.  

The move by CAP is part of its commitment to safeguarding young people and vulnerable audiences. It follows a consultation launched in October 2020 which responded to GambleAware’s Final Synthesis Report: The impact of gambling marketing and advertising on children, young people and vulnerable adults. The findings of this report indicated that regulatory changes would help continue to protect under-18s from gambling-related advertising harms. 

Commenting on today’s changes Shahriar Coupal, Director of CAP, said “our new rules invite a new era for gambling ads, more particular to the adult audience they can target and more befitting of the age-restricted product they’re promoting.” 

Advertisers have until 1 October 2022, when the rules will come into effect.

Feature image by Dylan Nolte via Unsplash

Scott Guthrie is a professional adviser within the influencer marketing industry. He is an event speaker, university guest lecturer, media commentator on influencer marketing and active blogger. He works with brands, agencies and platforms to achieve meaningful results from influencer marketing. That tells you something about him but it's not giving you a lot of detail, is it? So, read more here.

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