Youth gambling prevention: Can public service announcements featuring celebrity spokespersons be effective?

Abstract

Children and adolescents are at increased risk of developing gambling problems compared to adults. A review of successful prevention campaigns targeting drinking and driving, smoking, unprotected sex, and drug use suggests that public service announcements (PSAs) featuring celebrity spokespersons have strong potential for raising awareness of the risks associated with excessive underage gambling. In developing these PSAs, the psychological processes underlying persuasion should be considered along with the source characteristics of prospective spokespersons. Having a celebrity spokesperson associated with gambling should lend credibility to the message and increase issue relevant processing among youth highly involved in gambling. The recent surge in popularity of poker and Internet poker participation among youth suggests that a gambling prevention campaign may benefit from soliciting the endorsement of celebrities who have been associated with poker or even professional poker players themselves.

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