Ladbrokes have released a new advert that encourages viewers to gamble sensibly and with caution. In the advert, a commentator explains how the main character- nicknamed Mr Brightside- doesn’t let losing affect his mood and doesn’t take gambling too seriously. The ad is clearly aimed at young males- the demographic most likely to spend their times in the bookies or playing poker online and also the most likely to become addicted to gambling.
It’s significant that a large gaming business like Ladbrokes is encouraging its customers to gamble responsibly. The betting industry has come under fire recently for its TV advertising and some question whether casinos and online betting sites should be allowed to advertise at all. By choosing to make the tagline ‘Bet responsibly’ so prominent in their advert, Ladbrokes are taking the right steps to ensure their advertising does not contribute to Britain’s gambling addiction problem. In fact, the advert actually distances the brand from the issue, because Ladbrokes are making it clear that they want to prevent people from developing an addiction.
Many critics of the gambling industry view large businesses as indifferent to the fact that gambling can become a very serious addiction, but by addressing the issue Ladbrokes have shown they are very aware of the issue.
The advert promotes gambling without glamorising the industry and without encouraging risky gambling habits. The ad is more relate-able than aspirational, featuring an average-looking British man, dancing in an average-looking night club. The best adverts create a strong personality for the brand and appeal directly to the target audience and Ladbrokes have shown they can do this and still deliver a responsible message at the same time.
If advertising standards impose restrictions on what content gambling adverts can have, then it soon every brand will have to think of a new, more responsible approach, whereas Ladbrokes will be one step ahead.
Of course the main reason for producing such a responsible advert is to encourage sensible gambling and it’s great to see a big business doing the right thing. If you think you or anyone you know has a gambling problem, you can call the Gamble Aware helpline for free on 0808 8020 133.