New guidelines published by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) insist that the responsibility lies with gambling operators to ensure that affiliates acting on their behalf comply with advertising rules.

Published with the aim of protecting children from online gambling, the affiliate section of the 17-page report explained: “Responsibility lies with gambling operators to ensure that affiliates or other third parties acting on their behalf to publish or otherwise disseminate marketing communications comply with the Codes. Marketers should ensure affiliates comply with CAP’s gambling specific guidance as well as its more general targeting guidance.”

It also provided guidance on the topic of influencers, arguing that marketers should take particular care when identifying someone to promote their products or brands. “They should identify the influencer’s likely appeal and obtain audience data (for instance, the age breakdown of a follower or subscriber-base) to ensure that under-18s are not likely to comprise more than 25% of the audience,” it continued. “Where such data is not available or incomplete, marketers should exercise caution.”

The ASA’s four new standards:

  • prohibit online ads for gambling products being targeted at groups of individuals who are likely to be under 18 based on data about their online interests and browsing behaviour;
  • extensively list unacceptable types of content, including certain types of animated characters, licensed characters from movies or TV and sportspeople and celebrities that are likely to be of particular appeal to children, and references to youth culture; and
  • prohibit the use in gambling ads of sportspersons, celebrities or other characters who are or appear to be under 25; and
  • adds to existing guidance on the responsible targeting of ads, covering all media (including social networks and other online platforms).

The new standards will come into force on 1 April. Read the full report here.