Removal of adverts that appeal particularly to under 18s

Removal of adverts that appeal particularly to under 18s

by Yue-Ting Fung, Paralegal

by Yue-Ting Fung, Paralegal

Following the publication of several articles in the UK national press, last Friday a letter was jointly issued by the Committee of Advertising Practice (“CAP”), the Advertising Standards Authority (“ASA”), the Remote Gambling Association and the Gambling Commission. Whilst the letter does not set out any new requirements, it emphasises the importance of existing rules and the need to remove advertisements that appeal particularly to under 18s.

Gambling Commission licensees are advised to amend or remove immediately any advertisements on operator websites or in third party media that are:

• likely to appeal particularly to people aged 17 or younger (“under 18s”); and
• generally available to view (“freely accessible”)

This relates to freely accessible advertisements for play-for-free and play-for-money games, including all graphics and images on an operators’ website or in their third party media, and follows recent guidance published by the ASA and CAP on 9 October 2017.

In the letter, CAP advises that where uncertain, operators should exercise caution by amending or withdrawing advertisements pending any clarification with its CAP Copy Advice team, which offers a free, confidential service. It also reminds operators that various sanctions are available to CAP, should an operator fail to bring their advertising in line with its Code.

The ASA and CAP are hosting a webinar on this subject at 3pm tomorrow, Thursday 26 October 2017, which will focus on why the ASA ruled certain advertisements did or did not particularly appeal to under 18s, what makes an advertisement freely accessible, and will include advice on how to prevent an advertisement from being freely accessible. You can register for the webinar here.

If you are in any doubt whether your marketing material appeals particularly to children, please do not hesitate to contact us.