The UK Advertising Standards Authority found a Kwiff ad next to an article in the Portsmouth FC site, encouraging young people to join Junior Blues. The operator denied these accusations and noted that their online marketing software avoided specifically targeting minors. The ASA, however, refused to reverse its decision. It stated that the circumstances surrounding this incident warranted a sanction.
Marketing Mistakes Are Increasingly Common
The ASA made this decision as part of their ongoing efforts to promote responsible gambling and protect vulnerable people, especially minors, against potential harm. After the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport began to assess the severity gambling-related issues in the UK, the UK advertising regulator became more vigilant.
The authority is focusing a lot of its attention on online marketing as it requires a large amount of resources to police the vast internet landscape. The ASA was notified just a few days ago that a high-profile operator coral allegedly targeted popular blogs for new mothers. This case, as well as the recent Kwiff violation, proves the need for effective regulations.
The Regulator Resisted Change in its Decision
The ASA found that a Kwiff ad appeared next to a newspaper article titled Join Junior Blues, which informed youths how to join Portsmouth FC junior supporters groups. The regulator claimed that the placement of marketing content was directed at people under 18 years old, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Portsmouth FC’s cartoon character was also present in the article, which exacerbated the problem by contrast with the gambling advertisement.
Kwiff is owned by Eaton Gate Gaming a UK-based start-up gaming company. Representatives of the company disputed the ASA sanctions and denied targeting individuals underage. The company highlighted its automated behavioral-targeting tool, claiming it was accurate enough to maximize advertising revenue while limiting the exposure of underage individuals.
Eaton Gate said they adhered to the ASA guidelines, and that they had taken sufficient measures to prevent such incidents. The regulator was not convinced, noting the fact that the ad appeared next to material aimed specifically at minors, whether it was done intentionally or not. The ASA argued the unfortunate placement warranted a response, and did not retract their sanction.
The ad was not in compliance with the gambling advertising rules because it appeared on a website… directed towards those under 18 years of age.
UK Advertising Standards Authority Statement
The ASA’s sanction of Kwiff is a powerful reminder to the gambling industry that it is important to adhere to responsible marketing practices. This serves as a warning to operators that they must be vigilant about preventing minors from accessing gambling content or engaging in it. They should also carefully monitor their marketing campaigns for any possible violations.