Sportsbet launches Take a Break campaign as bookies face ad bans

By Lucy Carroll | 10 November 2015

As betting agencies face a crackdown on the volume of gambling advertising in the market, online bookmaker Sportsbet has launched an above-the-line campaign to “drive community awareness.”

The month-long ad campaign follows the launch of Take A Break, a "responsible gambling" initiative that allows customers to choose when and how long they take a break from wagering.

The promotion follows yesterday's launch of an Australian Association of National Advertising discussion paper on a new code that would prohibit betting agencies targeting children and young adults and impose tougher standards for wagering advertisers.

It is the first time Sportsbet has run a campaign to encourage people to stop gambling and will be shown across TV, digital, social and radio platforms and will be broadcast during programs, including Nine’s Summer of Cricket, the evening news on Seven, Nine and Ten, The Project, The Block, Top Gear and The Big Bang Theory.

However, the campaign is running outside of peak betting times, such as spring horse racing season and footy finals.

“Take A Break is an innovative new product and we want consumers to know about it and the other responsible gambling services we provide,” sportsbet.com.au’s marketing director Barni Evans said.

“We know our customers appreciate and use our responsible gambling tools. Thousands of customers have set a limit on how much they can deposit into their account over a set time period so we expect Take A Break to be similarly popular.”

The ads feature young male adult punters, who are showing signs they may have a gambling problem, using the Sportsbet app feature that allows users to take a break “for 24 hours, or make it the weekend".

“We’ve seen an encouraging uptake of Take a Break prior to the campaign. There’s no doubt the ads will have the impact we’re aiming for and drive the message that wagering should be fun and conducted responsibly,” Evans said. 

In a study published by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation in October, researchers found the use of corporate social responsibility strategies may be used as promotional tools for brands.

“Public health researchers have documented the use of these tactics in other unhealthy industries (such as tobacco) as a way of distracting consumers from the potentially negative impacts of their products. Questions have also been raised about the use of these programs to promote specific brands and products,” the researchers said.

The authors of the paper highlighted Sportsbet's World's Biggest Blue Balls promotion, a campaign to raise awareness of prostate cancer, in which the researchers found 18 presentations of the Sportsbet.com.au logo within the 58 second clip.

The Take A Break campaign will receive heavy presence across Sportsbet’s mobile and desktop platforms and social media channels.

View the ads here:

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