Children’s exposure to gambling ads down 25% since 2010

| By Marese O'Hagan
The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), the UK’s advertising regulator, has revealed that children's exposure to gambling advertising fell by a quarter between 2010 and 2021.

This was revealed through a report that analysed how children have been exposed to age-restricted products – such as gambling and alcohol – through advertising from 2010.

The ASA has released annual reports on gambling and alcohol advertising exposure to children since 2019.

It is based on data collated by the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board.

In 2010, children saw an average of 3 gambling advertisements per week. In 2021, this was 2.2 gambling advertisements per week.

This is the lowest level since the analysis began. It is also half that of the peak of 4.4 in 2013.

Part of the decline was due to lower exposure to advertising in general.

Between 2010 and 2017, gambling advertising made up less than 2% on average of all advertisements seen by children. However, from 2018 to 2021, this has been above 2%, hitting its peak of 2.7% in 2020.

In 2013, children were exposed to 229.2 advertisements per week on average. In 2021 this was 82.8 advertisements per week.

“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,” said Guy Parker, chief executive of the ASA. “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.”

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