The use of celebrities in gambling ads likely to be restricted in UK as part of new rules to clamp down on marketing that appeals to under 18s.
Gambling operators are likely to be prohibited from featuring celebrities, sports stars and social media influences in adverts.
The proposal with the use of celebrities is included in a new consultation launched by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), the body responsible for setting the UK code for advertising.
It aims to clamp down on gambling ads that appeal to under-18s.
Existing rules prohibit ads that are likely to appeal more to minors than to adults, but the proposed measures would go further and ban all ads that are judged to appeal to under-18s.
That would include a ban on the use of personalities who appeal to minors.
The CAP has said that change would have a major impact on adverts that use sportspeople and celebrities, including reality TV stars and social media influencers.
The decision would depend on how popular a celebrity is with young people.
Ads featuring celebrities who are not significantly resonant among younger audiences, such as Ray Winstone’s appearances in ads for Bet365, would be likely to escape the ban.
But gambling ads featuring the likes of José Mourinho, Michael Owen and Harry Redknapp would be banned.
The CAP clarified: “For example, featuring the England football captain in a gambling ad would be prohibited under this new rule.”
The proposals come after a study commissioned by GambleAware found that gambling adverts had more potential impact on under-18s than previously believed.
The CAP said there was no evidence to justify a complete ban on gambling advertising, and it rejected calls from GambleAware to implement tighter restrictions on the media in which ads can appear.
CAP director, Shahriar Coupal, said: “The consultation proposes a strengthening of our rules and guidance which will help us in our ongoing work to prevent children, young and other vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling advertising.
It responds to valuable research commissioned by GambleAware that has highlighted how gambling ads have more potential than previously understood to adversely impact these audiences – that’s something we take very seriously and that we are aiming to address.”
The consultation is open until January 22, 2021. Details are available on the CAP website.
Last summer, the gambling industry itself introduced a voluntary ban on betting adverts during sports programmes to reduce younger people’s exposure to gamblings ads.
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