The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has applauded the UK’s gambling industry for continuing to reduce children’s exposure to gambling ads.

The advertising body reported a sharp drop in ads that may appeal to minors during Q3 2020.

This year, the ASA had mentioned that kids’ exposure to advertorial gambling content had declined to levels from 12 years ago.

A steep decline in gambling ad exposure for minors 

Between July and September, the ASA found five ads that violated its age restriction guidelines. The content in question was from three different gambling operators and spread across six separate websites.

Comparatively, 70 ads had breached these same guidelines in Q2 of this year. Those ads were divided between eight websites and four gambling companies.

Guy Parker, Chief Executive of the ASA, had the following to say about reducing gambling ad exposure.

“We’re encouraged to see advertisers, most notably in the gambling sector, taking steps to target their age-restricted online ads responsibly.

“We expect that trend to continue, particularly amongst HFSS advertisers, throughout the remainder of this project and beyond.

“We’ll continue working with advertisers and taking action where necessary to build a culture of zero tolerance for age-restricted ads appearing on websites aimed at children.”

In May 2020, the ASA said that youngsters’ exposure to promotional gambling content was last year at 2.5 per week. This was roughly in the middle of 2008’s exposure (2.2) and that of 2009 (2.7).

Some gambling brands have extra work to do 

Despite the steep drop in ads that may be appealing to minors, the ASA still needed to warn a couple of brands about their actions. Tipster platform thebettingman was recently warned about future conduct after someone aged below the age of 25 was involved in a promotional Instagram story.

Gala Spins, a GVC brand, has also received a warning in Q4. Last month, a social media ad was brought into the spotlight after it was deemed as potentially-appealing to children.

The ASA usually warns operators about their future conduct when they first breach advertising regulations.

Gambling less of a concern than other industries in Q3

The ASA is monitoring numerous age-gated industries, in a bid to reduce exposure to inappropriate content. Industries under the agency’s eye include tobacco, weight loss products, tobacco and alcohol. Soft drinks deemed to be high in fat, salt, or sugar (HFSS) are also being watched.

Six alcohol ads were determined to have possible appeal to minors, with 14 related to weight loss products. HFSS had the most ads flagged by far (102).

E-cigarettes, another industry monitored by the ASA, had zero ads determined as possibly attractive to children.