Bookmakers William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Paddy Power have revealed their first wave of ads featuring more prominent responsible-gambling messages – the first activity to come out of the new, independently formed watchdog Senet Group.
The bookmakers set up the group in September in response to public concern on gambling in advertising, and pledged to carry strong responsible-gambling messaging on all TV and online advertising as well as ads inside betting shops from 1 January 2015.
The new message - “When the Fun Stops, Stop” – will feature on all advertising run by members of the Senet Group, and are geared towards raising awareness of the potential risks of gambling and the benefits of staying in control.
The campaign has been created by advertising agency The Corner.
Meanwhile the Gambleaware.co.uk, which is funded by the Responsible Gambling Trust charity, will feature more prominently in the new straplines, as a source of advice for those who may have a problem with gambling.
All TV advertising by Senet Group member companies will carry the new message and it will appear in their shop windows, press ads and other forms of advertising, making this the most visible warning yet to be carried by the industry.
The Senet Group will launch a broader campaign to promote responsible gambling, including a major TV and radio ad campaign, later in January.
Ron Finlay, interim chief executive of the Senet Group said: “Gambling companies provide fun and entertainment for huge numbers of people. But if you’re spending more than you can afford, it can lead to stress, anger, guilt and other problems. When gambling stops feeling like fun, it’s time to call it quits”.
Marc Etches, chief executive of the Responsible Gambling Trust said the charity “commends” the Senet Group for its campaign to help gamblers stay in control of their gambling habits.
“This initiative is a new and important step in the evolution of responsible behaviour among British-based gambling businesses. We are pleased that the campaign features GambleAware, an easy to remember website that offers help to all those who need confidential advice or support with problem gambling,” he added.
The Senet Group will be chaired by an independent standards commissioner who will be responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with the commitments made by members on advertising.
Since the group was established the members have also agreed not to advertise free bets or free sign-up offers on TV before the 9pm watershed, and to dedicate 20 per cent of their shop windows to responsible gambling messages.