Lottery advertising will need to be presented in a way that is not appealing to under-18s according to strict new measures proposed in a Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) public consultation announced this week.

The consultation proposes to introduce new strengthened rules and guidance to better protect children and young people (under-18s) and vulnerable people from potential gambling-advertising related harms.

In a statement, the organisation said: “We are proposing to update our rules and guidance to further restrict the potential for gambling and lotteries ads to appeal to and adversely impact under-18s and vulnerable adults.”

The consultation has been prompted by key findings from recent research commissioned by GambleAware which provides the first wide-ranging and in-depth picture of the impact of marketing and advertising in the UK. 

Its findings suggest that the creative content of gambling and lotteries advertising that abides by the UK Advertising Codes has more potential, than previously understood, to adversely impact under-18s and vulnerable adults.

First among the proposals is to strengthen the rules to prohibit creative content of gambling and lotteries ads from appealing ‘strongly’ to under-18s (currently gambling ads are prohibited from appealing particularly to under-18s; in other words, they are banned from appealing more to under-18s than to adults).

A ‘strong’ appeal test will be used to identify content (imagery, themes and characters) that has a strong level of appeal to under-18s regardless of how it is viewed by adults. And there will be an extension of the existing policy banning animated characters and superheroes to include behaviour, language and fashion appealing to minors.

CAP believes that the new restriction will have significant implications for gambling advertisers looking to promote their brands using prominent sports people and celebrities, and also individuals like social media influencers.

The consultation also contains proposals to update existing guidance that prohibits presenting complex bets in a way that suggests that players can use skill or intelligence to control the outcome.

CAP Director Shahriar Coupal said: “The consultation proposes a strengthening of our rules and guidance which will help us in our ongoing work to prevent children, young and other vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling advertising. 

“It responds to valuable research commissioned by GambleAware that has highlighted how gambling ads have more potential than previously understood to adversely impact these audiences – that’s something we take very seriously and that we are aiming to address.”