Australian broadcaster to block gambling ads via opt-out service from Q1 2024

SBS confirms viewers will be able to adjust settings for on-demand viewing to give “greater control” over content  

Australian public broadcaster SBS will allow viewers to opt-out of seeing gambling ads on its on-demand service from Q1 2024.

Through the company’s online help centre, users will be able to apply a blanket block on ads from gambling firms.

The system will run as a beta from March 2024.

SBS previously told the Australian Senate inquiry into online gambling that betting ads accounted for around 4% of comments or complaints sent to the broadcaster.

Alongside being able to block gambling ads, users will also be able to opt-out of seeing ads for alcohol and food delivery companies.

SBS confirmed ads from other unrelated companies would take their place should a user elect to opt-out.

James Taylor, SBS MD, said: “We have age restrictions on SBS On Demand and we remove certain ad categories from particular programming, especially shows that deal with difficult or sensitive topics such as Addicted Australia.

“For certain categories, SBS will utilise the benefits that digital [technology] provides and put greater control into the audiences’ hands. Audiences have always had complete control over what they watch on SBS On Demand. Now they will benefit further by having greater control over the ads they see as well.

“The advertiser benefits by not paying to reach people who have no interest in their product. This is responsible advertising at its best,” he added.

Vanessa Sanford, Tabcorp marketing and media GM, said: “Tabcorp is an industry leader for responsible advertising standards in the wagering industry, so we’re proud to be partnering with SBS in this audience-first approach.

“This is an innovative initiative that ensures advertising reaches a receptive audience.”

The announcement from SBS follows reports in Australia that gambling firms have offered to voluntarily remove sponsorship from NRL teams’ jerseys.

The move comes as the Australian government looks to further clamp down on advertising in the market.


​EGR Intel

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