The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has taken action to ban advertisements by five gambling operators which were served on children’s websites, in clear breach of UK Advertising Codes.

The ASA used new monitoring technology in the form of child ‘avatars’, online profiles which simulate children’s browsing activity, to identify ads that children see online.

It heralds the beginning of a new phase in the ASA’s use of technology to help better protect children and vulnerable groups online, and part of wider efforts to ensure action can be taken against irresponsible ads without the need for members of the public to raise a complaint.

Over a two-week monitoring period last year, the ASA identified ads by 43 operators in non-logged-in, online environments.

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