Article

Visibility of age restriction warnings, harm reduction messages and terms and conditions: A content analysis of paid-for gambling advertising in the United Kingdom

Alternative title Consumer protection information in gambling advertising

Details

Citation

Critchlow N, Moodie C, Stead M, Morgan A, Newall PW & Dobbie F (2020) Visibility of age restriction warnings, harm reduction messages and terms and conditions: A content analysis of paid-for gambling advertising in the United Kingdom [Consumer protection information in gambling advertising]. Public Health, 184, pp. 79-88. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2020.04.004

Abstract
Objective: The inclusion and design of age restriction warnings, harm reduction messages, and terms and conditions (T&Cs) in gambling advertising is self-regulated in the United Kingdom. Our study examines the visibility and nature of this information in a sample of paid-for gambling adverts. Study design: Content analysis of a stratified random sample of gambling adverts (n=300) in the United Kingdom from eight paid-for advertising channels (March 2018). Methods: For each advert, we assessed whether any age restriction warnings, harm reduction messages, and T&Cs were present. If so, visibility was scored on a five-point scale ranging from Very poor (25% of advert), which had high inter-rater reliability. Descriptive information on position, design, and tone of language was recorded. Results: One-in-seven adverts (14%) did not feature an age restriction warning or harm reduction message. In adverts that did, 84% of age restriction warnings and 54% of harm reduction messages had very poor visibility. At least one-in-ten adverts did not contain T&Cs. In adverts that did, 73% had very poor visibility. For age restriction warnings, harm reduction messages, and T&Cs, most appeared in small fonts and outside the main advert frame. Most harm reduction messages did not actually reference gambling-related harms. Conclusion: Age restriction warnings, harm reduction messages, and T&Cs do not always appear in paid-for gambling advertising. When they do, visibility is often very poor and the messaging not clear. The findings do not support a self-regulatory approach to managing this information in gambling adverts.

Keywords
Gambling advertising; Gambling marketing; Harm reduction; Age warnings; Terms and conditions

Journal
Public Health: Volume 184

StatusPublished
FundersRGT Responsible Gambling Trust
Publication date31/07/2020
Publication date online30/04/2020
Date accepted by journal02/04/2020
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/31126
ISSN0033-3506
eISSN1476-5616

People (3)

People

Dr Nathan Critchlow
Dr Nathan Critchlow

Research Fellow, Institute for Social Marketing

Dr Crawford Moodie
Dr Crawford Moodie

Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Social Marketing

Ms Martine Stead
Ms Martine Stead

Deputy Director of ISM, Institute for Social Marketing

Projects (1)