Many gambling affiliates are recently getting an influx of emails from affiliate managers related to GDPR and requests to update operators’s promotional terms and conditions on the affiliate’s website.  Not complying to these request will have you, the affiliate, removed from any UK affiliate program if you do not comply by adding a link to the terms and conditions and listing significant terms and conditions for each promotion.  The question is why are affiliate programs so heavy handed with their request for updating your website, the answer is the ASA and CAP.

Who Are the ASA and CAP?

ASA stands for Advertising Standards Authority, which is an independent advertising regulator that makes sure that ads across the UK media stick to advertising rules.  CAP is the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) is the sister organisation of the ASA and is responsible for writing the Advertising Codes. They have advice related to promotional marketing: terms and conditions which is active since April 2017.  Responsible gambling companies in the UK are following this advice and are ensuring that all affiliates in their program follow the advice.

What is the Promotional Marketing: Terms and Conditions

The full set of promotional Marketing terms and conditions can be found here.  Below we have taken the main points that relates to affiliates, this summary and thoughts does not constitute legal advice.

  • All promotional marketing should clearly include all significant T&C’s upfront in initial marketing material.
  • These conditions include:
    • how to participate, including any costs or factors likely to influence consumers’ understanding of the promotion;
    • any free entry route explanation;
    • start date (if applicable);
    • closing date;
    • any proof of purchase requirements;
    • the nature and number of any prizes or gifts, or a reasonable estimate if the number cannot be determined;
    • the existence of any restrictions or limitations, such as age, date or geographical restrictions;
    • any limitations of availability; and
    • Unless obvious, the promoter’s name and address.
  • All significant T&Cs should be stated in the initial marketing material, for online advertising this means that they should be included on the same page as the ad, in the main ad.
  • Less significant conditions should be available before or at the time of entry but do not need to be given as much prominence

What if the ad is limited by space?

On an affiliate website is very possible that adding significant terms and conditions can be limited by space as many affiliate websites were designed a long time ago.  It is best to consult your affiliate manager to work out what is acceptable and not as the affiliate program is responsible for the advertising content on your website.  The ASA does have advice for space.

Rule 8.18 states that “Marketing communications that include a promotion and are significantly limited by time or space must include as much information about significant conditions as practicable and must direct consumers clearly to an easily-accessible alternative source where all the significant conditions of the promotion are prominently stated. Participants should be able to retain those conditions or easily access them throughout the promotion.”

Rule 8.18 does give some leeway in the short term for an operator and affiliate while they improve the layout of their website.

Conclusion For Promotional Marketing

Gambling affiliates are usually part of multiple programs and receiving these types of emails adds to the stress that you are compliant and still earning revenue.  If you are struggling to keep up with all these requests.  Speak with your affiliate manager of each program to find out the bare minimum to be compliant and implement the new changes.  If you are still struggling then look to outsource the work so you can turn around the request within a reasonable time frame.