‘Responsible advertising at its best’: SBS announces opt-out feature for gambling, alcohol ads

This is part of Mumbrella’s coverage of the 2024 upfront season. Click here to see other articles in the series. 

SBS will introduce a feature within SBS On Demand that allows its users to opt-out of receiving advertising for gambling, alcohol, and quick food delivery services.

SBS will launch the beta version of this opt-out functionality during the first quarter of 2024.

“SBS already takes significant steps to ensure we are meeting the responsible advertising expectations audiences have of us,” said SBS managing director James Taylor.

“We have age restrictions on SBS On Demand and we remove certain ad categories from particular programming, especially shows that deal with difficult or sensitive topics, such as Addicted Australia.

“For certain categories, SBS will utilise the benefits that digital provides and put greater control into the audiences’ hands.

“Audiences have always had complete control over what they watch on SBS On Demand. Now they will benefit further by having greater control over the ads they see as well.

“The advertiser benefits by not paying to reach people who have no interest in their product. This is responsible advertising at its best.”

Of course, the network wouldn’t have launched something like this without checking in with its own advertisers who fall under this category, such as Endeavour Drinks Group, and Tabcorp, both of whom have endorsed the move.

“As Australia’s leading liquor retailer and operator of hotels, Endeavour Group is committed to maintaining a culture of industry leadership in the responsible service, ranging, sale and marketing of alcohol,” said CMO Jo Rose.

“We are pleased to be working alongside SBS on the introduction of the audience first opt-out feature for SBS On Demand viewers, to ensure greater control for viewers.”

Vanessa Sanford, general manager of marketing and media for Tabcorp said it is “an industry leader for responsible advertising standards in the wagering industry”, and proud to partner with SBS in “this audience-first approach.”

Sanford also noted this technique also “ensures advertising reaches a receptive audience.”

Taylor noted at the SBS upfront that the network already removes “certain ad categories from particular programming – especially shows that deal with difficult or sensitive topics, such as Addicted Australia and Asking for it,” as well as age limits on certain categories of advertising.

At the upfront on Tuesday, SBS also confirmed it had again secured the exclusive TV rights to the 2026 men’s FIFA World Cup, cementing its 40 year partnership with FIFA.


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