GambleAware seeks agency to create £7m campaign warning for addicts in the making

GambleAware, the safer gambling charity, is looking for a creative agency to lead a new £7m public awareness campaign to tackle low-level gamblers who are at risk of becoming addicts.

GambleAware is looking for an agency to lead a new public awareness campaign
GambleAware is looking for an agency to lead a new public awareness campaign

The charity said it has been asked by the government to lead a new public awareness campaign about the risks associated with gambling and how to avoid them. 

Chaired by Professor Sian Griffiths, an independent board will oversee marketing activity that will run for at least two years starting from August.

Agencies were contacted yesterday through ISBA as an intermediary and the brief does not affect 18 Feet & Rising’s status of agency of record for the charity. A year ago the agency created its first ad for GambleAware; the campaign focused on "the voice in your head" which can lead addicts to compulsively gamble. 

Instead of focusing on "problem gamblers", the new campaign will put the spotlight on relatively low-level gambling harms and preventing escalation to more damaging behaviour.

Younger men, who are more likely to gamble online, are seen as a key "at risk" group that GambleAware’s advertising will target.

Agencies will be expected to create a campaign that will encourage people to think more critically about gambling products and provide prompts for conversations about gambling within families and friendship groups.

The campaign is funded by the gambling industry and supported by broadcasters, which have committed to provide up to £7m in free media for the campaign.

It is not part of the "When the fun stops, stop" responsible gambling campaign by The Senet Group, the independent body backed by bookmakers including Sky Bet and William Hill.

However, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is keen to step up awareness of problem gambling amid growing pressure from campaigners to put new restrictions on betting ads.

The government’s current Gambling Review, launched last October, is looking at tougher restrictions, including imposing a broadcast watershed. Last week the Committees of Advertising introduced a raft of changes to the UK advertising code around gambling, including how free bets are promoted.

In a statement, GambleAware said: "This is a new initiative and GambleAware will work with ISBA to select a creative agency. 

"In the meantime, GambleAware will continue to work with 18 Feet & Rising to build upon the excellent work they have done for us in re-branding and promoting as the primary gateway to advice and treatment for gambling-related harm."

This article first appeared on PRWeek sister title Campaign

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