the problematic content

This week I want to delve further into the advertising of potentially problematic content, where my focus turns to gambling ads, the fastest growing category of advertising according to AdNews (2016).

Statistics from the Victorian Government’s responsible gambling campaign reports that:

1 in 4 kids can name FOUR OR MORE gambling brands.

3 in 4 can name at least one.

(image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay)

Recent changes in ACMA marketing regulations were clearly not enough as another set is scheduled for April 2019.

These new rules require digital marketers to use every tool possible to protect kids, including:

  • Preventing exposure to gambling ads on kid’s websites or in online games
  • Removing logos and concepts that appeal to kids from the ads
  • Restriction of marketing by any influencer who appears under 25 years old
  • Limited advertising during televised sport
(image by Campaign Live)

Despite these restrictions, gambling companies are engaging in highly successful digital techniques such as ‘push marketing’ (promotional messages such as texts or emails) which suggest a significant influence on riskier betting behaviour and increased spending. 

As a result, the most recent statistics from a 2018 report demonstrates that the growing areas of gambling correlate with marketing trends – a 6.9% increase in spending on race betting and a 15.3% increase in spending on sports betting as per statistics from the Victorian Government’s responsible gambling campaign. All made easier through the instant gratification (Psychology Today, 2016) of online betting apps. 

I’d love to hear your opinion on whether you think these statistics warrant further restriction or maybe even a ban of digital gambling advertisements?

10 thoughts on “the problematic content

  1. It’s crazy how much exposure kids are getting from gambling brands. I think platforms which are allowing these ads to somehow have a setting which prevents gambling ads to pop up on accounts that children would be using.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree Alvin, the ability to block sensitive content such as gambling ads would be a game changer. Not only for kids who are overexposed, but for addicts who can’t escape the advertisements! Thanks for your input.


  3. Those are crazy statistics! I rarely watch tv and usually only watch replays of MAFS and so on online so I never knew that there were that many gambling ads! Scary to think about the long term effects on kids. I wonder why there aren’t regulations on that by the government

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Viviann, there are some regulations in place – for example, these ads are only allowed in later timeslots. However, based on the statistics, I’d say they aren’t doing nearly enough to curb the problem. Thank you for your comment!


  4. This is so shocking to read! I guess I’ve become so accustomed to seeing the ads, I don’t think about the influence they would have -especially on children. I personally think that gambling is already a major problem in Australia and that advertisements should therefore be heavily restricted, if not banned. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment Anastasia! These ads seem to be really successful in drawing consumers to the sports betting apps so I agree that it will take a lot to stop them! Unfortunately a ban doesn’t seem likely.


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