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YouTube to allow users to mute gambling and alcohol-related ads

In a blog post, the vice-president of YouTube, Debbie Weinstein said: "We're launching a new control in ad settings, enabling people to see fewer alcohol ads, with gambling as an additional option."

Akarsh Verma | December 11, 2020 | Updated 20:41 IST

Highlights

  • YouTube is going to allow users to mute ads related to gambling and alcohol.
  • The feature will be first rolled out in US, and will likely be launched globally in early 2021.
  • Gambling-related ad impressions have more than doubled since the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a respite for millions of users globally, Google, the parent company of YouTube is introducing a new control in 'Ad Settings' that will enable people to see fewer alcohol and gambling-related ads on both Google and YouTube platforms. The new settings come in response to "feedback that some people would prefer to limit ads in certain categories," YouTube said.

The feature will roll out in Ad Settings gradually, beginning with YouTube Ads in the US. The company said in a statement on Thursday that it aims to introduce the update for Google Ads and YouTube globally in early 2021. Online gambling advertising has increased substantially in recent years, leading to concerns about its impact on children and young people.

This new feature will be available alongside an existing feature that allows people to adjust personalised ads. It is to be noted that countries that already restrict ads related to gambling and alcohol will see no change.

"We've long had features like Mute this ad, where people can indicate which ads they'd rather not see. These controls live alongside our policies which determine when and where gambling and alcohol ads can be shown per local laws (age restrictions)," Google said.

They further added, "This new feature is an extra step, putting the choice in the user's hands and enabling you to further control your ad experience". Google said that it is working with the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) and its members, the leading beer, wine, and spirits producers, taking into account their expertise on standards for responsible alcohol advertising and marketing. "IARD's engagement with Google means users of the platform, starting with YouTube, will have the option to see fewer alcohol ads. Our members are determined to give people greater control over whether they see alcohol-related marketing online," said Henry Ashworth, President, and CEO of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking.

Globally, the trend related to gambling advertisements has been alarming, in fact, ad impressions for gambling sites have more than doubled during the coronavirus pandemic. An impression is defined as the number of times an advert appears on a consumer's screen.

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