News 6 October 2014

Senet Group makes sports betting advertising pledge

The Senet Group, recently formed by four major UK gambling operators to promote responsible gambling standards, has pledged to reduce the amount of ‘free bet’ offers advertised during sports broadcasts ahead of the UK’s 9pm TV ‘watershed’. “We pledged to introduce a voluntary ban on sign-up offers, i.e. free bets or free money, ahead of the 9pm watershed”, said a Senet Group spokesperson. “We decided to do this because we are mindful of the number of children that watch sports broadcasts”.

The Senet Group, which was founded by Coral, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and William Hill in September, made its pledge in a 14 September advert taken out in a number of national newspapers. The advert pledges that from 1 October, its betting operator members will ‘introduce a voluntary TV advertising ban on sign-up offers (free bets and free money) before 9pm’, and ‘commit 20% of shop window advertising to responsible gambling messages from the start of next year’. It also pledges to fund a responsible gambling advertising campaign and to carry more prominent responsible gambling messages in TV advertising. Three advertising agencies have been shortlisted for the campaign (KarmaKarma, The Corner LDN and Grey London), and a decision on which one to use will be made before the end of October.

The Senet Group is chaired by an Independent Standards Commissioner. From January 2015, it will operate a Code of Practice, and will sanction and fine members who breach these standards. The UK’s TV ‘watershed’ regulates what types of advertising should be reserved for after 9pm and before 5:30am in order to protect children from potentially harmful messages. It is policed by the UK’s communications regulator, Ofcom.

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