ASA Reveal Decline In Age Restriction Violations

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has announced that, according to its latest report, age limit breaches in UK gambling ads have fallen.

Advertisements involving gambling, alcohol, tobacco and other items considered adult-oriented or harmful to children were examined using monitoring tools over a three month period from October to December 2020.

A total of 47 age-restricted ads were found to have breached the ASA’s regulations across a sample of 49 websites and 12 YouTube channels.

A further 21 advertisers put eight YouTube channels and 23 websites with mainly underage viewership on age-restricted marketing programmes.

Just three of these ads were gambling related, distributed over three separate websites but released by the same advertising agency. Advertisements for alcohol, cigarettes and goods for weight loss remained stable in contrast.

Encouraging report

In an official statement ASA said: “Following our first and second reports, the ASA is encouraged by the lower number of ads found to have broken the rules.

“Once we have run the monitoring again in Q1 2021, we will in the summer publish a final report, reflecting back on this year-long project and in which we reserve the discretion to publicise repeat offenders, if there are any.”

The disclosures are based on the previous three-month ASA survey for July to September 2020, which found that the amount of age limit breaches by betting advertisers had ‘reduced dramatically, from 70 ads in the first sweep to five5 ads in the second sweep.’

Continued monitoring and reporting

ASA Chief Executive and former Chair of the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA), Guy Parker, added: “We remain alive to concerns and we will be monitoring and reporting on this again.

“But we’re making significant progress in our ambition to build a culture of zero tolerance for age-restricted ads appearing on websites aimed at children and we expect that progress to continue.”