The UK ads watchdog has seen a dramatic improvement in ads being seen by minors.
UK.- The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has reported a significant improvement in the number of gaming ads being restricted from underage viewers.
The improvement comes after an initial report by the watchdog earlier in the year branded gambling as the biggest offender in terms of breaching rules on preventing ad exposure among minors, worse than alcohol and e-cigarettes.
Its second online marketing sweep found that inappropriately placed online betting and gambling adverts has since reduced significantly.
Whereas 70 inappropriately placed ads were identified in its first sweep, the latest checks during the three months from July to September identified only 5 ads
The five betting ads were from three different gambling operators on six websites. Unlike in the first sweep, this time no breaches were reported on YouTube channels.
In October, The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) agreed a new Sixth Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising under which members committed to ensuring that social media campaigns would only target audiences aged over 25 would use age-gating to prevent exposure among minors.
The ASA will continue its marketing sweeps, it said.
ASA chief executive Guy Parker said: “We’re encouraged to see advertisers, most notably in the gambling sector, taking steps to target their age-restricted online ads responsibly.
“We expect that trend to continue, particularly amongst HFSS advertisers, throughout the remainder of this project and beyond.
“We’ll continue working with advertisers and taking action where necessary to build a culture of zero tolerance for age-restricted ads appearing on websites aimed at children.”