ASA Reports Reduction in Children’s Exposure to Gambling Ads on UK TV

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The UK’s media watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), has announced a reduction in children’s exposure to restricted advertisements. This development is part of ongoing efforts to minimise the unintended impact of such ads on young and untargeted audiences.

According to a new report published in 2024, children’s exposure to gambling advertisements on TV has significantly decreased. This biennial report highlights progress since the last publication in 2022, showing a substantial reduction in how often children see these ads.

From 2010 to 2023, children’s exposure to gambling ads on TV dropped by 40%. The report defines children as individuals under 16 years old. Overall, children’s exposure to all types of ads fell dramatically, from 226.7 ads per week in 2010 to just 58.2 ads per week in 2023.

Specifically, exposure to gambling ads fell from 3 ads per week in 2010 to 1.8 ads per week in 2023. This nearly 50% decline over a decade highlights the challenge of preventing accidental viewing by children and the ongoing impact of TV gambling ads on this age group.

While the ASA celebrates this achievement, they recognise that online advertising remains a challenge. The regulator is actively working to reduce children’s exposure to gambling ads on the Internet by targeting inappropriate marketing and advocating for stricter regulations.

A contributing factor to the decline in harmful ads seen by children is the significant drop in television viewing time. Children in the UK now spend about 4.6 hours per day watching TV, a sharp decrease from 2010 levels.

Recent ASA actions include ruling a Buzz Bingo Halloween ad as inappropriate due to its appeal to children and warning a company for using a famous English soccer player’s image, which was found to attract underage viewers.

As part of a broader review of the gambling industry, the UK is also considering banning the use of media personalities, social media influencers, and athletes in gambling advertisements.