UKGC publishes guidance on controlling the gambling-related ads consumers see on Facebook

The Gambling Commission has published guidance for consumers entitled “Controlling the gambling-related ads you see on Facebook” (that you can download below. Announcing publication of the guidance on its website, the Commission has said:

The Gambling Commission has partnered with Facebook to create guidance aimed at limiting the number of gambling-related adverts users see on the social media platform.

The guidance explains the different ways in which Facebook’s safety tools and settings can be adjusted within an individual account to control what a user can and can’t see in their Newsfeed.

Issuing the guidance will help to mitigate the risk of exposure to gambling-related messaging and advertisements.

This includes:

  • Hide ads – from their Newsfeed, users can control which ads they see to ensure they are relevant and utilise the ‘Why am I seeing this ad?’ feature to hide all ads from a specific advertiser.
  • Ad Preferences tool – the different sections within this feature enables users to review advertisers they have recently seen ads from, as well as choosing to see fewer ads about a number of pre-determined topics, and;
  • Managing data – using the above feature, users can control how their data is used to show ads on and off Facebook, including whether they can be targeted based on certain attributes listed in their profile.

The Facebook consumer guide follows the Gambling Commission’s advertising technology challenge to the industry earlier this year. As a result, industry committed to a range of new practices aimed at reducing vulnerable audiences’ exposure to gambling ads online.

The Commission’s Chief Executive, Neil McArthur, said:

“Protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling is at the heart of what we do, which is why I challenged the industry to look at how they can make better use of technology to prevent gambling-related content and adverts being seen by those individuals. Partnering with Facebook to produce this guidance is a welcome step for us in order to offer consumers clear, practical advice, and I hope that this will help them limit the gambling-related content they see when using the platform.”

Rick Kelley, VP of Global Gaming at Facebook, said:

“Facebook is committed to supporting a safe and transparent environment for people to control their experiences on our platform. We’re delighted that our partnership with the Gambling Commission will help operators to implement advertising campaigns responsibly, while helping to protect the people who use our services.”

On 29 January 2020, the Gambling Commission announced that it had similarly partnered with Twitter to create guidance aimed at supporting users who want to limit the amount of gambling-related content they see on that social media platform.