Gambling advertising: protecting children and young people

Responsible Gambling

As part of the ASA’s commitment to protecting vulnerable audiences from potential harms, the have ASA have conducted regular monitoring of ads, in particular those for age-restricted products, to help identify trends and ensure our tough scheduling restrictions are working to limit appropriately, in this case children’s, exposure to them.

The findings of this report show that children are seeing fewer ads for gambling and alcohol products on TV, in a continuing downward trend.

For the first time, we’ve also broken the data down by nation, revealing differences across the UK for a more complete picture.

Overall, between 2010 and 2021: Children’s exposure to all TV ads in the period fell by almost two-thirds, from 226.7 ads per week in 2010 to 82.8 ads per week in 2021. They also saw fewer TV ads than adults, around one ad for every four seen by adults.

Children’s exposure to alcohol advertising on TV decreased by three-quarters, from an average of 3.2 ads per week in 2010 to 0.8 ads per week in 2021. This is a faster rate of decline than children’s exposure to all TV ads.

Exposure to gambling ads on TV over the same period decreased by just over a quarter from an average of 3.0 ads per week in 2010 to 2.2 ads per week in 2021. Exposure to gambling ads relative to adults’ has fallen year-on-year, from 36.0% in 2010 to 15.4% in 2021.

Guy Parker, Chief Executive of the ASA, said: “Our latest report confirms the ongoing decline in children’s exposure to ads for age-restricted products, which is what our rules are designed to achieve.

But of course that’s not the full story. Children’s media consumption habits are changing significantly, which is why we’re also focussed on protecting them online. Later this year, we’ll publish our findings on the ads they are seeing across the internet and social media as part of our zero-tolerance approach to age-restricted ads being served to children.”