UKGC creates social media advertising guidance via Facebook link-up

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has broadened its reach to social media users after partnering with Facebook to create guidance aimed at limiting the number of gambling-related adverts that users see.

The guidance will aim to mitigate the risk associated with gambling-related messaging and advertisements on social media. It will offer information on how users can utilise Facebook’s safety tools and settings to control the adverts on their newsfeed.

UKGC Chief Executive, Neil McArthur, said: “Protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling is at the heart of what we do, which is why I challenged the industry to look at how they can make better use of technology to prevent gambling-related content and adverts being seen by those individuals.

“Partnering with Facebook to produce this guidance is a welcome step for us in order to offer consumers clear, practical advice, and I hope that this will help them limit the gambling-related content they see when using the platform.”

The guidance offered via the partnership will include information on:

  • Hide ads – from their Newsfeed, users can control which ads they see to ensure they are relevant and utilise the ‘Why am I seeing this ad?’ feature to hide all ads from a specific advertiser.
  • Ad Preferences tool – the different sections within this feature enables users to review advertisers they have recently seen ads from, as well as choosing to see fewer ads about a number of predetermined topics, and;
  • Managing data – using the above feature, users can control how their data is used to show ads on and off Facebook, including whether they can be targeted based on certain attributes listed in their profile.

Earlier this year, the UKGC issued an advertising technology challenge to the industry which would enhance gambling companies’ commitment to a range of new practices aimed at reducing vulnerable audiences’ exposure to gambling ads online.

Rick Kelley, VP of Global Gaming at Facebook, added: “Facebook is committed to supporting a safe and transparent environment for people to control their experiences on our platform. 

“We’re delighted that our partnership with the Gambling Commission will help operators to implement advertising campaigns responsibly, while helping to protect the people who use our services.”

This Summer, betting leadership presented its new action plan on safer gambling, moving to implement new safeguards protecting younger audiences viewing betting/gambling related content across social media platforms.

The new safeguards  put forward by industry trade body, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) will form the ‘Sixth Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising’ which will be adopted by members from 1 October.

Adopted as a ‘standard practice’, BGC members must ensure that all audiences are ‘age-gated’ through social media ID verification processes before they can view any gambling-related content be it adverts, messaging or promotions.

Backing its new directives, the BGC underlined that it would continue to maintain its  ‘industry working groups’ collaborating with advertising bodies, technologies and media owners to in safeguarding standards and improving AdTech capabilities to protect vulnerable audiences.

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