The Netherlands’ gaming regulator, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has warned the National Postcode Lottery (NPL) over its use of a celebrity in marketing. The authority believes that such ads may unintentionally appeal to minors.
The Regulator Reprimanded the Lottery
The KSA noted that the NPL featured a local celebrity in one of its recent TV ads for the Deal or no Deal game. While lotteries are generally considered low-risk, the regulator insists that they must follow the same rules and refrain from appealing to young people.
The KSA explained that featuring celebrities in marketing is not entirely forbidden but operators must first make sure that the said person has no appeal among minors and young adults. The regulator emphasized that the latter are not prohibited from playing but are very prone to gambling harm.
The celebrity in question is Buddy Vedder, a Dutch voice actor, dancer, singer and presenter who enjoys a lot of popularity in his home country. He has more than 222,000 followers on Instagram and over 125,000 followers on TikTok. His impressive following includes a lot of people aged 25 and below, which is why the KSA reprimanded the NPL for its ad.
KSA Wants to Prevent Operators from Featuring Celebrities in Marketing
The KSA refrained from handing down any fines and further penalties. The authority recognized the fact that the rules on featuring role models in gambling ads were introduced fairly recently. In addition, the rules on role models were introduced in March, and therefore, the NPL’s marketing campaign featuring Vedder preceded the ban.
The National Postcode Lottery disputed the KSA’s decision to reprimand it for featuring Vedder. The operator pointed out that low-risk operators are allowed to feature celebrities in their marketing. Moreover, the NPL argued that Vedder is not really a role model as he doesn’t rank among the top 10 largest Instagram celebrities in the country.
The role model ban was introduced this year and prohibits high-risk operators from using role models in their marketing at all. According to the KSA, there haven’t been any major disputes. The ban was breached only two times since its introduction, with the two responsible operators immediately taking down the problematic ads when contacted by the Kansspelautoriteit.
In other relevant news, the Kansspelautoriteit appealed to Dutch operators ahead of the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament, advising them to advertise in moderation. The regulator reminded them that they must refrain from featuring celebrities and asked them to be moderate with their overall advertisement.