UK Trade Group Nixes Celebrity Gambling Endorsements

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The days of big-time celebrities endorsing UK gambling operators appear to be coming to an end. That’s the outcome of a recent announcement from The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), the committee that sets the advertising rules enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Earlier this week, the group announced a new set of rules banning gambling endorsements with a “strong appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture.”

If you’re thinking that would keep gambling operators from having sports stars endorse their products, that’s exactly the point of rules. The new advertising code specifically forbids, “top-flight footballers and footballers with a considerable following among under-18 audiences on social media.” The new advertising code also make specific mention of video game imagery and reality TV imagery that is likely to appeal to younger audiences.

Shahriar Coupal, Director of CAP, described the rule update saying, “The days of gambling ads featuring sports stars, video game imagery and other content of strong appeal to under-18s are numbered. By ending these practices, our new rules invite a new era for gambling ads, more particular to the adult audience they can target and more befitting of the age-restricted product they’re promoting.”

Though CAP’s new standards are going to significantly impact marketing plans for most UK operators, they did get a tepid endorsement from Betting and Gaming Council Chief Executive Michael Dugher who said, “The BGC supports these changes not least because they build on a whole range of measures we have led in recent times to drive up standards and ensure further protections in advertising.”

The new rules are set to go into effect on October 1 of this year.