UKGC Uses Facebook For Social Media Advertising Guidance

After working with Facebook, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has expanded its scope to social media users to establish guidelines aimed at restricting the amount of ads related to gambling that users see.

The purpose of the guidance would be to minimise the risk associated with gambling-related social media messages and advertising. It will include information about how users can use the security tools and settings of Facebook to monitor the adverts in their newsfeed.

The Chief Executive of UKGC, Neil McArthur, said: “Protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling is at the heart of what we do, which is why I challenged the industry to look at how they can make better use of technology to prevent gambling-related content and adverts being seen by those individuals.

“Partnering with Facebook to produce this guidance is a welcome step for us in order to offer consumers clear, practical advice, and I hope that this will help them limit the gambling-related content they see when using the platform.”

Details will be included in the guidance given by the collaboration on:

  • Hide ads – from their Newsfeed, users can control which ads they see to ensure they are relevant and utilise the ‘Why am I seeing this ad?’ feature to hide all ads from a specific advertiser.
  • Ad Preferences tool – the different sections within this feature enables users to review advertisers they have recently seen ads from, as well as choosing to see fewer ads about a number of predetermined topics, and;
  • Managing data – using the above feature, users can control how their data is used to show ads on and off Facebook, including whether they can be targeted based on certain attributes listed in their profile.

The UKGC presented an advertising technology challenge to the industry earlier this year that would strengthen the dedication of gambling firms to a variety of innovative practises aimed at reducing the exposure of vulnerable viewers to online gambling advertisements.

Rick Kelley, VP of Facebook’s Global Gaming, added: “Facebook is committed to supporting a safe and transparent environment for people to control their experiences on our platform.

“We’re delighted that our partnership with the Gambling Commission will help operators to implement advertising campaigns responsibly, while helping to protect the people who use our services.”

Betting management unveiled its new ‘Safer Gambling Action Plan’ this summer, moving to introduce new protections to protect younger viewers from consuming betting / gambling related material through social media channels.

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the latest protections put forward by the industry trade body, will form the ‘Sixth Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising’ which will be ratified by members on 1 October.

BGC members must ensure that all viewers are ‘age-gated’ by social media ID verification procedures, implemented as a ‘standard practice’ before they can access any gambling-related content, whether it be advertising, messaging or promotions.

In support of its new directives, the BGC emphasised that its ‘industry working groups’ will continue to collaborate with advertising bodies, technology and media owners to safeguard quality and improve AdTech capabilities to protect vulnerable audiences.