Gambling and betting companies will be banned from using advertisements featuring top footballers and other sports personalities, as well as reality TV and social media stars, under new rules designed to protect under-18s and other vulnerable groups.
The changes, determined by the body responsible for the UK advertising code, will mean that past betting and gambling marketing involving stars and celebrities such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourinho, Michael Owen and Harry Redknapp will not be allowed in the UK. .
Broad new rules also include a ban on the display of football jerseys and stadiums of certain teams in advertisements, as well as the use of video game content and games popular among under-18s.
“There are no more top footballers or other high-profile athletes promoting the latest odds,” said Shahriar Coupal, director of the Advertising Practices Committee, which sets the rules enforced by the UK’s advertising oversight agency. “There are no more influential people on social networks, TV stars or other celebrities popular among children who invite us to bet on red. And, there are no more gambling ads with pictures of video games or games known in the lives of many children. ”
According to the current rules, advertising is prohibited only if it is likely to be more suitable for people under the age of 18 than for an adult. Under the new rules, advertising will be banned if it is “likely to be of great importance to children or young people, especially because it reflects or is related to youth culture,” regardless of how adults may view it.
The new rules take effect in October, ahead of next month’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar, a sporting event around which gambling companies and bookmakers traditionally spend a lot on marketing to attract gamblers.
However, the Office of Advertising Standards, the body that implements the UK advertising code, does not have the authority to regulate the disputed area of team sponsors.
“This may not seem significant right away, but its effect – especially in the years at the World Cup – will be dramatic,” Kupala said. “By abolishing these practices, our new rules call for a new era for gambling ads, especially adult audiences that they can target and that are more in line with the age-restricted product they promote.”
The new rules will ban the use of any celebrity, from sports stars to contestants from the Island of Love, with a significant fan base under the age of 18, in betting and gambling commercials. The rules apply to electronic media, such as TV, radio and cinema ads, as well as to those that are not broadcast, such as online and in newspapers or on billboards and posters.
The ASA said that children still see an average of 2.2 ads for betting or gambling per week, although this is the lowest level in the last 12 years, with the existing rules that prohibit the use of ads by anyone under 25.