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Sheffield Council Votes to Ban Gambling Adverts on Billboards

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The city of Sheffield in the UK is introducing changes to the regulations governing its adverts displayed on outside billboards. Earlier this week, the City Council’s finance committee met and approved a policy that bans adverts from brands linked to gambling, fast food, vaping, and fossil-fuel-related industries.

The new rules apply to billboards under the control of the council, which means that they may not apply to some privately owned billboards. The policy will come into effect in April and will severely restrict which companies are able to rent billboard space.

Several Industries Hit by Ban

As mentioned, it is not just the iGaming industry that will be hit by the new policy. The tobacco industry will no longer be able to advertise products such as vapes and e-cigarettes. However, anti-smoking initiatives are allowed. Other products and industries to be hit by the ban include companies linked to fossil fuels, airlines, and anything related to the porn or sex industry.

The policy also prohibits any adverts for illegal drugs, guns, and alcohol including related products with no or low alcohol content. In addition, adverts for diesel, petrol and electric cars have been banned as well as those for food delivery companies and unhealthy foods.

The aim is to help safeguard people’s health and give local brands and smaller businesses the chance to make use of the billboards.

Concerns Dismissed by City Councilor

During the last council meeting, some did raise concerns about the effect of the new rules on certain brands and companies, such as gambling operators. So far, the gambling industry has not responded to the rules, but it is unlikely to react favorably.

However, the policy has been welcomed by committee chair Councilor Zahira Naz, who called it “ambitious”.

We have to limit exposure to products that are contrary to better outcomes for people and the planet. I think this policy is going in the right direction on that but we have also taken a balanced approach to ensure that Sheffield can still attract ambitious opportunities for the city, and allow support for local businesses.

Zahira NazSheffield City Councilor

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