You will soon be able to hide gambling and Alcohol ads on YouTube if you do not wish to view them. The video sharing app is setting up tools to allow users disable alcohol and gambling ads after getting “feedback that some people would prefer to limit ads in certain categories.”
Gambling ads have been on the increase globally over the past few years. This has led to widespread concerns over their impact on children and the youth.
“We’re launching a new control in ad settings, enabling people to see fewer alcohol ads, with gambling as an additional option.” Debbie Weinstein, a vice president at YouTube said. The feature however, will not guarantee that all ads are filtered. It will be featured alongside an existing one that allows people to personalize ads.
There have been concerns that technology was making gambling and alcohol marketing reach further than it normally would.
For those who are struggling with addiction, this can be particularly damaging,” Andrew Misell, Director for Wales at Alcohol Change UK warned.
“So empowering users with the ability to block alcohol promotions that they may not wish to see is a welcome step forward. We very much hope that the opt-outs are simple and that their availability is advertised as widely as possible.”
Ad impressions (the number of times an ad appears on the screen) for gambling sites and companies have increased globally especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Kenya has experienced similar issues with Gambling ads readily available on popular apps, TV, Radio, Newspapers and all kinds of media.
The YouTube feature to turn off the ads will first be rolled out in the UK and to other countries later next year. Google said it is considering applying the same functionality for all their ads.
Some countries already have existing restrictions on gambling and Alcohol ads, and as such, will not see a change.