Gambling regulator clamps down on ads being misplaced on pirate sites

Posted on Tuesday 01 February 2022

Gambling advertisers in Great Britain must now take steps to avoid ad misplacement on copyright-infringing sites, or risk sanctions being imposed by the gambling regulator.

On 31 October changes to the Gambling Commission’s licence conditions come into effect that has implications for digital advertising businesses. The changes are aimed at ensuring that gambling operators are proactive in managing their advertising placements, including to avoid their ads being misplaced against copyright-infringing content, as part of wider efforts to stop infringing websites making money from advertising revenue.

The new licence condition requires gambling operators to: 

  • ensure that they do not place digital brand advertising on websites providing access to unauthorised content, and

  • to take ‘all reasonable steps’ – including through contractual terms and conditions – to ensure third parties with whom they contract do not place ads on these sites 

The IAB believes in brand safety online and is a key member of JICWEBS & the Digital Trading Standards Group (DTSG). The DTSG has developed good practice ad trading principles to help uphold brand safety by minimising the risk of ad misplacement against inappropriate content.

Advertisers and agencies should look to work with tech partners that have been accredited through the DTSG, which also provides a platform for the UK digital advertising industry to help tackle copyright infringement by enabling the use of the Police IP Crime Unit’s (PIPCU) Infringing Website List – an authoritative list of sites that the Police have determined as infringing copyright. Evidence suggests that its use is significantly reducing the number of household brand ads on these sites. 

Find our more about the DTSG good practice principles here.


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