Agcom publishes first new Italian advertising standards

Italian communcations regulator Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni (Agcom) has published the first set of advertising standards guidelines covering Italy’s upcoming ban on gambling advertising.

Italian flag outside a building.

Agcom has finally released the first set of guidelines for the new advertising standards in Italy. © Pixabay.

The ban is set to enter into force on 14 July, but until recently, operators have had little clarity towards just how much or how little they would be allowed to advertise their products.

Last week, Italian publication La Repubblica reported that Agcom was making progress on the standards, with land-based operators offered reassuring news.

The first set of guidelines has been published today. Under the new rules, shirt sponsorships, pitchside advertisements, influencer marketing, editorial ads, and televised native ads will all be banned.

However, operators will be allowed to display their odds on third party sides, as long as they not accompanied by any call to action or encouragement to bet.

Communications that Agcom deems “informative communications”, such as those covering bonus terms, jackpots, chances of winning, and minimum bets will be exempt.

Further, operators will be allowed to advertise communications aimed at raising awareness of responsible gambling campaigns or the possible negative effects of gambling, as well as those towards general social responsibility issues.

Land-based casinos are free to advertise and SEO is also not banned under the guidelines.

Agcom announced that any advertising contracts made before 14 July 2018 will be allowed to run until 14 July 2019.

Operators found not complying with the new standards run the risk of incurring a fine. Fines can be whichever is the highest of either up to 20% of the total value of the sponsorship deal or cost of advertising campaign, or a cost of €50,000 (£43,000).

Operators are yet to react to the guidelines. LeoVegas launched a legal challenge to the ban last year, which is still making its way through the European Commission. Operator revenues in Italy fell by 2% since the ban was announced.

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