Ad-ding up? Gambling Commission hosts responsible marketing workshop

Responsible marketing workshop Gambling Commission
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This October, the Gambling Commission invited industry marketers to a co-creation workshop where they shared approaches to responsible advertising and produced a set of best-practice recommendations for the industry.


Advertising executives from across the industry came together at a Gambling Commission workshop this October to develop new strategies for sustainable and responsible marketing.

Described by the Commission as a ‘Co-Creation Workshop’, the event focussed on sharing current practices and overcoming challenges at a time when marketers are under increasing pressure to balance the promotion of their products with promoting responsible gambling.

Last year’s FIFA World Cup saw a spike in complaints about the volume of betting adverts both on television and online, prompting the Gambling Commission to demand an industry-wide rethink of marketing practices.

In response, UK-based betting companies such as Sky Betting & Gaming announced that they would be voluntarily introducing a ‘whistle to whistle’ advertising ban during live sports games.

While industry-led initiatives have been welcomed by the Commission, marketing departments have also faced challenges in meeting the increasingly tough compliance standards required of them.

Announcing its new workshop concept, the UKGC said it wanted to “drive culture change” in marketing practices across the industry, while also hearing the perspectives of the people involved in creating advertising campaigns and collaborating to find solutions.

As part of the event, industry professionals heard from marketing agency Indicia, who are known for developing successful, consumer focussed campaigns.

The firm gave attendees a survey of the major themes in current industry advertising and offered insights into balancing commercial and responsible messages in adverts.

Describing the concept of ‘customer-centric’ marketing, Indicia also encouraged the delegates to consider the impact of their campaigns on their audience.

They discussed the role of advertising content and celebrity brand ambassadors and looked at ways to enhance the impact of safer gambling messages.

Attendees were urged to use their strong company brand as a means of promoting responsible gambling to both new and existing customers.

Together with Indicia representatives and the UKGC, marketing executives developed a set of nine sharable recommendations for their peers. These included tips on hiring and managing marketing teams, putting social issues at the heart of the design process, and evaluating the impact of marketing campaigns on the consumer.

A follow-up event is due to be held next year.

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