A few days ago, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) released its latest report on the exposure of British children to TV gambling adverts. According to the authority’s report, the exposure of the local underage audiences reached its lowest point for the last 13 years in 2020.
The UK advertising regulator published the updated figures about the children’s exposure to age-restricted TV adverts, especially ads for gambling and alcohol, in 2020. The coronavirus outbreak significantly changed the daily routines and behaviours of local consumers, especially considering the periods of lockdown during which most people were forced to spend more time at home. This, on the other hand, made entertainment at home an even more important part of their leisure time.
In October 2020, the ASA published its “Covid-19: Trends in Advertising” report, which analysed trends in viewing and exposure to TV ads for a number of product categories during the period from March 16th, 2020 to May 3rd, 2020. According to the report, exposure to alcohol ads rose during the coronavirus lockdown. When it comes to exposure to gambling ads, it also rose during the lockdown, in comparison to the period before it. At the time, the children’s exposure to gambling adverts increased from 2.5 ads per week to 4 gambling adverts per week during the observed period, mostly as a result of increased Lottery and Bingo advertising materials.
Lottery, Scratchcard and Bingo Ads Shown Most Frequently to British Children
Now, the latest report of the Advertising Standards Authority on children’s exposure to age-restricted adverts on TV has shown that underage audiences’ exposure to all TV adverts could be subject to a continuous decline.
The advertising watchdog shared that, according to the “Children and parents: media use and attitudes report 2020/21”, the use of all video-on-demand services rose in 2020, but 9 in 10 children between 5 and 15 years of age watched TV programmes through paid for or subscription VoD services. In comparison, approximately 50% of children in the same age group watched advertising-based VoD or broadcaster VoD services.
The report found that in 2020, underage individuals watched 2.8 gambling ads on a weekly basis, with the figure representing an increase from the 2.2 gambling ads watched per week in 2008. But the figure was also a decline from the peak figure of 4.4 gambling adverts watched on a weekly basis in 2013.
Children also saw 16.3% of the gambling ads that were supposed to be targeting adults. This was a decline from 38.6% in 2008, which basically means that on average British children saw less than 1 gambling ad for every 5 seen by an adult. The ASA further explained that the increase in overall ads reached by children since 2008 was probably mostly because of an increase in gambling advertising rates in general.
Lottery and scratchcard adverts were the ones that were shown to children with the largest frequency, followed by bingo adverts. Casino and sports betting ads were third and fourth, respectively.