A summer of sport

11th June 2021

This is an adapted version of the 2020 blog ‘gambling advertising watch-outs’.

We’re all looking forward to a less restricted summer this year and of course for a lot of us, a summer of sports, LOTS of sports.

So, with the Euros starting today and ahead of the Rugby cup, Wimbledon and lots more, we wanted to run you through the watch-outs for gambling advertising and tell you how we can help with any last-minute creative changes to your ads this summer. Here are our big watch-outs:

Live odds:

In the case of live odds being dropped into an ad, an approved template of the ad must be seen by Clearcast beforehand. This will then be delivered to the broadcaster, where the odds will be dropped in for transmission. Once the ad has aired it will need to be supplied to Clearcast with substantiation for the odds that were seen. Live odds are a great way for advertisers to show what they are offering, and perhaps how they compare with others, but remember the substantiation! Even though the ad has been seen and may not go on air again, Clearcast still needs the substantiation to support advertisers in the instance of a complaint.

Advertising your clubs:

In 2019 the ASA published rulings against a few ads that promoted betting clubs. These clubs were intended for viewers to sign up to advertisers’ websites to receive offers. One advertiser offered free bets if consumers spent a minimum sum over a week. Such offers need to be handled with care; the ASA has considered that in certain cases these offers encourage repetitive participation in gambling. The ASA also raised concern about an ad that, although light-hearted, implied being a part of a gambling club could provide a source of income. It’s imperative that advertisers encourage responsible gambling, including with the offers they have. You can look on the ASA website for the rulings, or relevant examples include Paddy Power and Coral.

Youth appeal:

The BCAP Code rule 17.3.5 talks about not appealing to under 18s, however, there are times when the line is not black and white. It’s always advisable to note if an ad goes from ‘general appeal’, to ‘particular appeal’ then to ‘under 18s’. ‘General appeal’ is where adults have a higher proportion of interest, for example, The X Factor or Saturday Night Takeaway, these are shows that have featured in gambling ads and the ASA have not upheld based on their BARB figures, among other points. ‘Particular appeal’ to ‘under 18s’, can be things such as Marvel characters and current premier league footballers. Ensuring ads do not appeal to under 18s can also include looking at the type of humour, characters, celebrities, or even music that might have particular appeal to this group. Advertisers should consider this when deciding on any celebrities or game characters featured in ads, in case they are likely to have appeal to children, see this ASA ruling for an example.

Whilst these are just a few points the ASA have ruled on that can help for future ads, it’s worth checking out the BCAP gambling rules for further points to consider, such as glamourizing gambling and sexual success. However, with the right guidance, your ads can be approved to go on-air and stay on-air. You can also refer to our notes of guidance to help navigate the BCAP rules on gambling.

We can help shape your initial concepts, deal with any last-minute changes or manage the process for you, read about how below:

Fast Track

Our Fast Track service guarantees feedback on your script or video within one working day. It isn’t suitable for all ads but we will assess any submission sent to us. It’s simple – just click on the fast track button in CopyCentral to get started or contact the team here.

Copy Development

Use Copy Development for a fresh perspective on the creative you’re planning. While you’re developing ideas and drafting script options, we’ll keep an eye on that all-important factor: will it work within the BCAP Code. This service is particularly useful when looking at gambling advertising as it can be a tricky area with the extra rules in place. Contact Seb on 02073394771 or email him to learn more about the service.


Our Training team offer a range of online and in-person courses that teach you everything you need to know about our processes, the BCAP code and digging deep into different sectors. A few years ago, the team delivered courses specific to gambling advertising and can offer this as a bespoke course to help you make sense of the rules and create compliant ads in the future. Contact the team here.

TV Admin

Use TV Admin if you’re short of time or headcount. The service includes management of your clearance, international clearance, delivery to your chosen channels and copy rotations. Contact Danny here or call him on 02073394700.

If you have any questions about this blog or anything else, email us.