We welcome today’s Gambling Review announcement from DCMS. The Advertising Association co-ordinated a group, which comprised major sports broadcasters and representatives of the gambling industry, to respond to the Government’s call for evidence as to whether the current rules are appropriate to protect children and vulnerable people from the possible harmful impact of gambling advertising.
This group put forward strong evidence that the current rules are adequate and that further restrictions on advertising would be ineffective to protect children and vulnerable people further. We stated that the standards set out in the advertising codes and the gambling industry’s own code were comprehensive.
It is worth noting that the Committees of Advertising Practice – the body which writes the UK Advertising Codes – carried out a comprehensive review of the evidence around advertising and problem gambling in 2014, which found our advertising rules were broadly proportionate to the evidence for harm. Nevertheless, CAP, which is a sister body of the Advertising Standards Authority, are now developing dedicated guidance on problem gambling issues to be clearer around approaches, appeals and general content that presents a risk of encouraging or condoning problem gambling behaviours. It is expected that this will be published in the New Year. CAP will also be developing guidance on issues relating to the protection of children and young people early next year.
As part of our discussions, the group co-ordinated by the Advertising Association also put forward proposals for a major media campaign promoting responsible gambling behaviour, which we are pleased to see welcomed by DCMS. Led by GambleAware at the invitation of the group, the plan is to launch a major responsible gambling advertising campaign, to run for two years with a budget of £5-£7 million in each year. This will include television adverts, including around live sport, as well as radio, cinema, print and online. The aim will be to raise public awareness of risks associated with gambling, as well as signposting to further advice and support where necessary.
Currently proposals for the campaign involve new funding from online gambling operators, with airspace and digital media provided by broadcasters. The bodies which are members of the responsible gambling group Senet will continue to fund its existing messaging and responsible gambling advertising work, bringing this in line with the wider campaign.
For further information, please contact our Director of Communications, Matt Bourn or Dominic Shales.