Senet encouraged by 'BadBetty' campaign

Senet encouraged by 'BadBetty' campaign

Friday, June 19, 2015
Ron Finlay is pleased with the reaction to the commercials

The Senet Group believes its ‘BadBetty’ campaign is helping to change perceptions of problem gambling in the UK.

The organisation, which was set up in 2014 by some of the country’s biggest gambling companies to monitor and enforce standards within the sector, launched a series of commercials earlier this year which features a parody of 1970s rock song ‘Black Betty’ by Ram Jam.

The reported £2m ($3.17m/€2.80m) campaign includes television commercials in which young gamblers frustrated by losing are warned by friends before a voiceover says, “If you’re betting when you’re angry or frustrated it’s a bad betty, so pause for a moment and think again. When the fun stops, stop”.

The group’s chief executive, Ron Finlay, told TotallyGaming.com that the campaign is reaching out to a huge proportion of the UK’s citizens, and that feedback has been positive.

“The campaign has gone down well,” said Finlay. “About a third of adults and half of gamblers are now familiar with ‘BadBetty’ and the idea that you should never bet more than you can afford. We are continuing to advertise to increase these numbers.”

Senet Group began a second burst of television and online advertising from the start of this month, making slight adjustments to the ‘when the fun stops, stop’ advertising strip, so that the word ‘fun’ is now the same size as ‘stop’.

“The aim is to use a light-hearted approach to remind gamblers and their friends or family of things to watch out for as signs of gambling possibly becoming a problem,” Finlay said. “#badbetty is a phrase we’d like to get people using as a shorthand, in the same sort of way that people might tell their mate who’s been drinking too much to give it a rest.”

Finlay believes the Senet Group has enjoyed a positive first year, after it was set up last September by William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Paddy Power in response to public concerns on gambling, and gambling advertising in particular.

The independent body’s responsibilities include monitoring and enforcing compliance with the commitments made by its members on advertising and other measures aimed at protecting the vulnerable.

“It’s been a good start, and has raised the prominence in the industry of the need for responsible behaviour," Finlay said. "But it is only a beginning and we have always felt this would be a long-term programme.”

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