The Advertising Association has voiced its support for the Department of Culture Media and Sport after it announced it was pressing ahead with a long-awaited gambling review to establish whether current rules do enough to protect children and vulnerable people from the potential for harm in gambling advertising.
This follows the establishment of a focus group by the association, composed of sports broadcasters and gambling industry representatives, to thrash out their formal response, arguing that the imposition of further restrictions would be "ineffective" at dealing with the issue.
Instead the group propose to launch a two-year media campaign promoting responsible gambling with a budget of £5-7m every year. It would fund a mix of TV adverts, radio, cinema and online content geared toward raising awareness of the risks posed by gambling and directing people toward further help and support.
An Advertising Association spokesman said: “We welcome today’s Gambling Review announcement from DCMS. The Advertising Association co-ordinated a group, which comprised major sports broadcasters and representatives of the gambling industry, to respond to the government’s call for evidence as to whether the current rules are appropriate to protect children and vulnerable people from the possible harmful impact of gambling advertising.
“This group put forward strong evidence that the current rules are adequate and that further restrictions on advertising would be ineffective to protect children and vulnerable people further. We stated that the standards set out in the advertising codes and the gambling industry’s own code were comprehensive.
“Currently proposals for the campaign involve new funding from online gambling operators, with airspace and digital media provided by broadcasters. The bodies which are members of the responsible gambling group Senet will continue to fund its existing messaging and responsible gambling advertising work, bringing this in line with the wider campaign.”
The Committee of Advertising Practice, the body which oversees UK advertising codes, is currently developing fresh guidance on gambling addictions to be clearer on the types of approaches and content which are most likely to feed problem gambling. It will be published in the new year. Separate guidance designed to protect children and young people will follow early next year.