ASA Report Reveals Drop In Children Seeing Gambling Ads

According to figures released by the Advertising Standards Authority, gambling ads seen by children on television dropped to 3.2 per week in 2018 from a high of 4.4 in 2013.

The figure remains close to those reported since 2014 after the high a year earlier, reflecting 2.2 percent of all TV ads seen by children last year.

The UK’s independent advertising regulator’s new report reveals levels of children’s access to age-restricted TV ads, including ads for tobacco, gambling, and high-fat food and soft drink items.

For every five adults in 2018, children saw an average of one gambling ad on TV, with ad exposure compared to adults, dropping year-on-year from 38.6% in 2008 to 20.4% in 2018.

In comparison, it is known that the average of 4.4 per week in 2013 actually accounted for a smaller percentage of total ads seen by children that year, representing 1.9 percent of the 229.3, although this was the highest total amount reported over the 10-year period.

In terms of total exposure, the 4.4 ads per week in 2013 were about 108.9 seconds, down to only 7.7 seconds in 2018 (from 3.2 ads).

Children saw only 2.2 per week (1% of 219.5) lasting 48 seconds in 2008, the first full year in which ads for gaming and betting were allowed on TV. For bingo, lotteries and scratchcards, the majority of adverts seen by children since 2011.

The advertising laws restrict the exposure of children by banning gambling ads in and around children’s programmes and services that are particularly attractive to under-18s.

Guy Parker, ASA chief executive, said: “Our priority is to ensure children are protected and we’re pleased that there’s a clear reduction in children’s exposure to TV ads for HFSS products and consistently low alcohol ad exposure levels.

“We’ve also policed the rules online through our proactive monitoring work, which uses technology to find out which ads children are seeing, followed by swift action against online advertisers who have broken the rules.”

Earlier this year, an industry-wide voluntary ‘ whistle-to-whistle ‘ commercial ban came into force on 1 August 2019, ensuring that there should be no TV betting commercials during live sport events in the pre-watershed – from five minutes before the event starts to five minutes after it finishes.