Priming Young Minds: The Appeal of Gambling Advertising to Children and Young People

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Abstract

In total, 55,000 children in the United Kingdom are classified as “problem gamblers” (Gambling Commis- sion 2019). Marketing has played a big part in this development. While advertising codes state that “Gambling marketing must not be of strong appeal to children and young persons,” no one has investigated what actually does and does not “appeal” to them. This research with 210 children (11- to 17-year-olds); 222 young persons (18- to 24-year-olds); and 221 adults (25- to 78-year-olds) investigated for the first time whether current gambling advertising appeals more to children, young persons or adults. The results show that gambling advertising on Twitter/X is significantly more appealing to chil- dren and young persons than to adults. Furthermore, children have mostly positive emotions after seeing gambling ads, in stark contrast to adults who have negative emotions after exposure. The research raises concerns about the role of advertising in priming children to gamble. A range of recommendations are made for regulators and future research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Association for Consumer Research
Volume9
Issue number2
Early online date3 Apr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Association for Consumer Research. All rights reserved.

Structured keywords

  • Gambling Harms
  • MGMT Marketing and Consumption

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