Bookmakers launch responsible gambling £2m TV ad to quell public concerns

The Senet Group, an industry body of four of the UK’s biggest bookmakers, is betting on humour in its debut TV advert to ensure its pledge to ensure the marketing of gambling is socially responsible hits home with gamblers.

A “fun” premise with a “serious” message is how the group’s members - William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Paddy Power - describe the tone of the advert (see above), which can be viewed online now.

Set in a betting shop, the ad shows a young gambler considering another a bet with his last few pounds after becoming frustrated with previous attempts to win. Before he can make up his mind, various characters in the shop, ranging from the cashier to a jockey on the screen, break into the 1970s hit “Black Betty” by Ram Jam. It ends with the sobering message “When the fun stops stop”, with the lights on the word “fun” flickering out.

The ad, created by The Corner, is stretched across radio, newspaper and online with the group hoping to reach 9.7 million users, and follows an intial run of print and online ads which launched earlier this month. All ads feature Gambleaware.co.uk prominently as a call to action for those concerned gamblers to seek out advice on addiction.

Ron Finlay, interim chief executive of the Senet Group, said: “The vast majority of people who gamble enjoy it responsibly and safely. But some can slide into problem gambling. Our campaign highlights some out of the warning signs and provides independent sources of advice for those who feel their gambling is getting of control.”

The campaign is the first from the industry body since it formed last September. Alongside taking a more proactive stance to making marketing more socially responsible, the bookmakers have pledged to promote responsible gambling standards – including promises to dedicate a fifth of their shop window space to messages about responsible gambling and staying in control.

The Senet Group, which is modelled on the Portman Group, also fulfilled its pledge to appoint an independent standards commission to enforce commitments when it appointed Wanda Goldwag earlier this week.

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