The Committee on Advertising Practices (CAP) has amended its code regarding lottery advertising with a focus on attracting young people under the age of 25. The amendments address specific advertising caveats, but CAP emphasized that these changes are intended to provide greater clarity to companies and will not affect their advertising policies and practices.
The Committee on Advertising Practices (CAP) and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have clarified the use of young people under the age of 25 in advertising for lotteries and gambling. This change is in line with a general rule that aims to limit the attractiveness of gambling for this age group.
However, it’s worth noting that it’s illegal to use actors or individuals who “appear” to be under 25 in gambling ads, even if they’re actually older than that age group. The ASA explained that in some cases there are situations where the actors, despite being over 25 years old, look very young, which may violate the established restrictions.
Lottery-specific changes include a requirement that references to scratch cards or online instant win lotteries must not mention the aforementioned persons under the age of 25 “in a prominent role”.
However, lotteries are given some leeway when it comes to promoting good causes: young people are allowed to participate in ads as long as the material depicts charitable efforts and does not encourage lottery purchases.
This includes whether the individuals under 25 in question are “representatives of the main beneficiaries of the lottery”, and whether the lottery and its campaigns serve the specific interests of those under 25, including in a family environment.
For example, the CEO of The Health Lottery, Lebby Eyres, explained to SBC earlier this year that their focus is on addressing health inequalities. They may use images of people under the age of 25 in their ads if it helps to demonstrate the impact of their health financing programs on this age group.
The ASA explained that after carefully examining the wording of the advertising rules for the lottery, the CAP (committee on advertising practices) concluded that it would be unwise to prohibit the depiction of beneficiaries such as children’s hospices or sports and youth activity programs in advertising that complies with the code.
This policy has been in effect since 2020, however CAP believes that there is a need to provide more clarity to lottery operators regarding advertising rules so that they know what is allowed and what is not allowed.
The updates come at a time of heightened gambling controls by the ASA. Authorities recently settled two separate lawsuits against Ladbrokes for content posted on
Twitter, which were considered attractive to those under 25 years old.
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