[co-author: Jonathan Salt]
The Advertising Standard Authority (“ASA”)’s January decision in respect of “Club Website Limited” demonstrates a continuation of its approach to protecting children from being influenced by gambling advertising. See previous DLA Piper comment here: Global Gambling Advertising .
The decision concerned Club Website Ltd – a sporting service which hosts websites and a central management system for football clubs and teams. The website was founded in 2005 and over 20,000 teams use this grassroots football facility which is funded through advertising and sponsorship.
The ASA considered whether an email from Club Website Limited, which included an advertisement for a “Bet Butler” promotion, breached the CAP code, because the advertisement was sent to a ten year old. The promotion contained an image of a football and a football stadium and the text stated “SIGN UP TODAY FOR YOUR £25 RISK FREE BET* Join Now”.
The ASA acknowledged that Club Website had an internal control mechanism to ensure that under 18s did not receive inappropriate content, but on this occasion an error had occurred with the administrator selecting the incorrect age group. Nevertheless Club Website had sent an email promoting a gambling service to an under 18 member and as such the advertisement breached the CAP Code (rules 16.1, 16.2 and 16.3.13). Club Website confirmed that that it would review its internal procedures to seek to further protect their younger audience, including asking administrators to check age group settings.