The British advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), released a new report Friday that tackles the exposure of minors in the country to televised ads for gambling and alcohol companies. The report reflects the exposure trends for last year.
According to the latest figures unveiled by the ASA, minors’ exposure levels to betting-related advertising content have hit a record low, registering the biggest drop since 2008. The trends are similar to those recorded in 2008 and 2009 when underage individuals were exposed to 2.2 and 2.7 betting-related TV advertisements per week.
Last year’s exposure levels were roughly the same, with minors seeing around 2.5 televised gambling-related ads on a weekly basis. The report also drew a comparison with the exposure of adults to this type of advertising content.
The watchdog reported minors’ exposure levels in 2019 were estimated at a little over 17% in relation to the adult levels. This percentage corresponds to less than one advertisement seen by minors for every five ads adults have been exposed to during the same year.
The ASA report revealed that this type of advertising content constituted under 2% of all televised ads minors in the country have watched on a weekly basis during the period between 2008 and 2017. This percentage jumped, albeit slightly, to 2.2% during the next year, 2018. The exposure levels for 2019 were a little lower at 2.1%.
Scratchcards, Lotteries and Bingo Comprised Most of the Advert Content
Most of the content minors saw comprised ads for gambling products like bingo, lotteries, and scratchcards. The remainder constitutes televised adverts for casino brands and sports betting operators. The trends of exposure decline can be observed across all types of adverts British children saw.
It became clear that the general exposure levels were at their highest in 2013 when minors within the age group 4 to 15 years old saw 229.3 adverts each week. By contrast, this general weekly figure decreased nearly in half to 115.3 adverts in 2019.
The ASA observes these trends since 2008. The latter was the first full year during which gambling operators could legally advertise their services and products on TV. According to the watchdog, minors from the age group 4 to 15 years old watched approximately 48 seconds of gambling ads per week at the time.
The exposure duration peaked in 2013, reaching around 108.9 seconds. Over the following years, there was a gradual decline in the gambling ads British children from this age group saw on television each week. In 2019, they hit a low point with an overall duration of approximately 58.8 seconds, similarly to the trends in 2008 and 2009.
Younger kids aged 4 to 9 also suffered less exposure to the gambling-related adverts in 2019, seeing around 2.3 such ads each week. Minors aged 10 to 15 saw roughly 2.6 such adverts per week in the same period as opposed to adults who were exposed to 14.4 gambling ads in 2019.
These trends can be attributed to the vigilant oversight of the advertising regulator. The ASA has implemented new technologies to improve its efficiency in identifying any violations of its advertising policies.