The Advertising Standards Authority have made significant improvements to their Advertising Code following a review released this month. The new code provides clearer and stronger protections for children and young people as well as greater definition of what might be considered advertising that encourages harmful gambling practices. In particular, the new code outlines what may be considered as advertising targeted at children and young people based on the guidelines below:
- The nature and intended purpose of the activity product or outlet being promoted is principally or generally appealing to children or young people.
- The presentation of the advertisement content is appealing to children or young people. (e.g. Animation, bright colours, toys, music, presence of children or young people, animals, cartoons, playgrounds)
- Expected average audience at the time or place the advertisement appears includes a significant proportion of children and / or young people.
Haylee Koroi, Māori Public Health Advisor from Hāpai Te Hauora congratulates the Advertising Standards Authority on the changes stating, "Given the extent to which the gambling industry invests in psychological marketing techniques to entice players to spend more money, we should not underestimate the subtle ways in which gambling advertising can target children"
Only two months ago, Hāpai noted the potential harms of child exposure to gambling advertising and sponsorship in sports. Haylee is hopeful that the new gambling advertising code will go a long way in ensuring the protection of children and young people from gambling advertising stating, "Our tamariki deserve to go about their day without being exposed to stimuli that encourages and normalises gambling"
Concern still remains about the proliferation of gambling advertising on social media, where children and young people especially spend a lot of time. Recent research out of Australia has found that "Just over half of young people described seeing gambling advertisements on social media and over a third recalled gambling advertising on YouTube, predominantly before watching sporting or gaming videos." While Australia and New Zealand have different advertising standards, Haylee doubts that trends will be very different for children and young people accessing social media in New Zealand.
As of August 5th the new Standards will be in force. Chief Operations Manager of Hāpai Te Hauora Selah Hart comments that, "Our communities have the right to protect their children and young people from potentially harmful messaging. Our role moving forward is to support communities, by sharing knowledge of the new standards and we hope the Advertising Standards Authority will be doing the same."