On 24th May 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on tobacco and gambling display advertising:
On 25th April 2019 the House of Lords debated a Motion from Lord Gilbert of Panteg, “That this House takes note of the Report from the Communications Committee UK advertising in a digital age (1st Report, HL Paper 116).” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I also thank the noble Lord, Lord Gilbert of Panteg, and the committee for the report, which made for fascinating reading. My friend the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Chelmsford sends his apologies for not being in his place today; he is elsewhere in the world with the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury, and so asked me to address one or two matters. I take complete responsibility for what I say, although he said that I must talk about self-regulation.
We all love digital; at least, most of us do. We love its possibilities. I do not go anywhere without my phone, frankly: I keep looking at it and I get bombarded with adverts through it. It was not planned but, yesterday evening, as it happens, I watched a lecture from a two-day conference for theologians being held in Durham this week, entitled “Missio Dei in a digital age”. Maggi Dawn, a British theologian based at Yale University, tracked the history of the impact of digital on Christian mission. She said this about how we handle digital:
“We need to recognise both the glorious possibilities of digital and its profound brokenness”.
Her point was that although digital is wonderful, with glorious possibilities we must use to the full, we must not fail to recognise its profound brokenness because it is infected by human beings, who make all kinds of mistakes in their use of things. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham raises impact on children of digital advertising”
On the 1st November 2018 the Rt Revd Christopher Foster, Bishop of Portsmouth, responded to a Government statement about Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals:
The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, may I briefly make two points? The Minister has indicated that he is aware of the strong feelings in this House. He and other members of Her Majesty’s Government must have been aware, particularly on Tuesday when this matter arose at Question Time, that that concern comes from all sides of this House. He may not be aware that after playing a part on Monday, as I sat in the Commons Gallery for the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget Statement, I used the word “disappointed” about the Chancellor’s decision to delay implementing this change. The Minister may not be aware that the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury has subsequently gone further and described it as appalling.
On the 12th of September the Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the increasing prevalence of gambling advertising.” The exchanges and follow-up questions from other Members can be seen below:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the increasing prevalence of gambling advertising, as reported in the Gambling Commission’s ‘Review of online gambling’, published in March.
Viscount Younger of Leckie(Con):…My Lords, the growth of online gambling has seen increased advertising for these products on TV and in social media. There are strict controls on the content and targeting of gambling advertising. A survey of evidence found that its impact on problem gambling was likely to be relatively small. We have set out a range of measures to strengthen protections further, including new guidance and research and tougher sanctions for breaches of the advertising codes. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans calls for regulation of gambling advertising and levy on firms to to fund addiction treatment”
The following article by the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, was published in the Daily Telegraph.
Britain is facing a ‘generational time bomb’ of children conditioned to think that gambling is normal
17 AUGUST 2018 • 9:30 PM
Ask any parent or teacher and they will tell you children play a lot of online games, including Fortnite which has taken the world by storm. What they might not know is that these games allow children to gamble quite openly – just without money.
This is all legal because of a loophole. And at the same time, whether on tablets or phones, children are bombarded with ads which make gambling sound like harmless fun.
The combined effect of these two factors is that, like Pavlov’s Dogs, a generation of children are being conditioned to gamble. Continue reading “Britain is facing a ‘generational time bomb’ of children conditioned to think that gambling is normal, says Bishop of St Albans”
On 25th November 2015 the Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell asked a question of Government about the decision by Digital Cinema Media not to accept an advertisement from the Church of England featuring the reading of the Lord’s Prayer. The video can be seen on the website justpray.uk A full transcript of the exchange and those that followed, is below.
The Lord Bishop of Chelmsford: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the freedom of religious and non-religious organisations to express their beliefs in the public sphere, in the light of the decision by Digital Cinema Media not to accept advertisements from the Church of England.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Williams of Trafford) (Con): My Lords, freedom of expression, including freedom of the media, is fundamental to democratic society. Open discussion of faith issues has the benefit of bringing communities together, thereby giving rise to greater understand among faith groups. In this case, the decision not to accept the advertisement was by an independent media organisation. The Government made clear that they do not agree with that decision and urged the cinema to look again.
On the 21st July 2015 Lord Lennie asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘what steps they are taking to protect children from payday loan advertisements in the light of the review conducted by the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice’. The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a supplementary question: