Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) are publishing technical updates to their rules on lotteries advertising and the inclusion of those who are or seem to be under the age of 25. The changes do not impact on advertising policy and practice. They are intended to help make the rules clearer for Code users by better expressing the policy intent behind them.
Advertising of lotteries products has always been subject to strict rules designed to protect children (aged 0-15) and young people (aged 16 and 17). These include a ban on people who are or seem to be under 25 from appearing in a significant role in ads. This policy ensures that characters or personalities featured are clearly adults less likely to appeal to younger members of an audience. The ASA sometimes considers cases where actors who are over 25 appear to be very young for their age and might contravene the restriction.
CAP and BCAP introduced changes to the policy in 2020 to allow for lotteries that support good causes benefitting children and young people to include people who are or seem to be under 25 in limited circumstances so that they might illustrate their good causes. The Committees considered that it would be unreasonable for the Codes to prohibit a lottery provider from depicting beneficiaries like a children’s hospice, or young people’s sport and activity scheme.
Recent Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) casework has brought to light concerns over interpretation. CAP and BCAP’s intention was for each part of the policy set out in BCAP rules 18.6, 18.7, 18.7.1 and 18.7.2 and CAP rules 17.15, 17.16, 17.16.1 and 17.16.2 to apply to both the use of people who are under 25 in ads, and those who seem to be under 25. Presently, only the first of these rules (BCAP 18.6 and CAP 17.15) states that in full. The subsequent rules refer only to “under-25s” potentially causing confusion over whether those who appear to be under 25 are covered by all the rules.
To make absolutely clear that the all the rules on featuring under-25s also apply to the use of characters who seem to be under-25, CAP and BCAP have made the following revisions (set out in the right-hand column; the existing wording is on the right).
BCAP Code section 18 will be amended as follows:
CAP Code section 17 will be amended as follows:
CAP and BCAP’s rules and guidance are reviewed periodically to ensure they are clear for Code users, in particular, after material changes are made to policy as happened with these rules in 2020. Alongside the technical updates to the rules set out above, CAP and BCAP have also made several amendments to the accompanying guidance to improve clarity and update the document. A marked-up version of the document showing the changes is available below:
The revised rules and guidance come into effect immediately. The finalised Guidance on depiction of under-25s in lotteries ads is available on in CAP’s resources section.
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