The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), a UK-based body that regulates advertising, has sanctioned Eaton Gate Gaming for displaying its Kwiff igaming advertisement on a news story about the Junior Blues in the Portsmouth FC’s website.
The ASAquestioned whether the Kwiff ad had been “appropriately targetted”, citing the rules that state marketing communications cannot be directed towards those under 18 years of age, regardless of the media section or context where they appear.
Eaton Gate Gaming contested the decision, even though the ASA upheld it. The operator pointed out the advertisement that the company ran on the Portsmouth FC news page, but not the “Join the Blues”, membership pages, or any other section on the website dedicated to children and young people.
Eaton Gate highlights behavioral targeting in the challenge
Eaton Gate said that its behavioural targeting was “a precise and accurate tool”, used to maximize return on ad spend, thus limiting viewing by underage viewers.
The company stated that the software was aimed at individuals who fit into specific profiles based on age, location, and interests, and excluded those under 18.
The company cited the ASA guidelines which state “relevant tools for targeting should be used and any ads targeted at audiences based upon data held targeting should be used in order to minimise the chance of those within the protected age group from seeing them.”
Even with the best use of technology, it was possible that a minor would see the advertisement.
ASA affirms Kwiff’s judgement
The authority decided to uphold the judgment despite these factors. The ASA noted that the operator used sophisticated targeting tools, but it said they assess the media with which the ad is served before looking at other aspects of the ad’s targeting.
The group noted that the advertisement which appeared with the ad was entitled “Join the Junior Blues”, and listed the membership packages for the three groups of junior supporters for Portsmouth FC.
The watchdog said that the content of the article was immediately appealing to youths as it only referred to services for those under the age of 18 years. The cartoon dog mascot of Portsmouth FC was also present on the article.
The ad was not compliant with gambling advertising rules because it appeared on a website that was directed to those under 18 years of age.