The UK ad regulator used new monitoring technology to detect and remove gambling ads available online for children.
UK.- Gambling advertising is a major concern for regulators – especially when it reaches children. That’s why the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has used new technology to detect abnormalities and infractions.
“We have used new monitoring technology to identify ads that children see online,” ASA said. It explained it used ‘child avatars’, online profiles which simulate children’s browsing activity. “We have already taken action to ban ads from five gambling operators which were served to child avatars on children’s websites,” the regulator said.
ASA stated it detected ads by 43 operators and instructed them to take said ads down. “We collected data on the 10,754 times that ads were served to the child avatars across 24 children’s websites and 20 open-access YouTube channels,” the authority explained.
However, the regulator explained gambling operators accepted their ads broke the rules. They assured that problems “arose due to errors by third-party companies who served the campaigns on behalf of the operators.”
“We have instructed the companies to take immediate action to review their online ads, ensure they are not served to web users aged below 18 years of age through the selection of media or context in which they appear and to put in place measures to ensure this does not happen again,” ASA stated. “We are now exploring whether this monitoring and enforcement approach can extend to environments like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.”
ASA continues to work on gambling advertising to ensure all operators comply with their codes.