Top footballers to be banned from gambling ads under new rules, UK body says

The Committee for Advertising Practice (CAP) revealed the tough new restrictions, which include banning all leading footballers from gambling ads.

04 April 2022

Leading footballers will be banned from advertising gambling products under new rules to be introduced to curb their appeal to young people under the age of 18, a UK industry body has announced.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Committee for Advertising Practice (CAP) revealed the tough new restrictions, which include all top-flight footballers because of their large social media following.

It comes as the organisation, which is responsible for the UK advertising and marketing code, works towards its commitment to safeguarding young people and vulnerable audiences.

CAP said the changes, which will come into effect on October 1 2022, follow a consultation on tightening the rules launched in October 2020.

The new rules state that sports people, celebrities and social media influencers who are “likely to be of strong appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture” will be banned from gambling and lottery adverts.

CAP said this will include footballers with a large under-18 social media following and reality TV stars popular with the age group, like those on Love Island.

The rules will also ban adverts that use any imagery that may appeal to under-18s.

This covers video game content and gameplay popular with under-18s, as well as a person or character whose example is likely to be followed by or have particular appeal to the age group.

Shahriar Coupal, director of CAP, says: “The days of gambling ads featuring sports stars, video game imagery and other content of strong appeal to under-18s are numbered.

“By ending these practices, our new rules invite a new era for gambling ads, more particular to the adult audience they can target and more befitting of the age-restricted product they’re promoting.”

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