Agencies line up as National Bingo puts £3m brief into play

The National Bingo Game Association is in talks with ad agencies about its £3 million creative account held by DFGW.

The NBGA has approached a number of undisclosed agencies to line up credentials meetings in the coming weeks.

It is not known if the media planning and buying account, handled by BLM Media, is part of the discussions.

A NBGA spokesman said: "We are not officially looking for an agency. However, there is a person employed by us who might want to see what competitor agencies are doing. But that is far as it will go. We're happy with DFGW."

More than 550 clubs in the UK link up to play the National Bingo Game, which the Association claims is the UK's second-biggest computer- controlled game after the National Lottery.

DFGW's first TV work for the NBGA, after it won the account in 2000, used toilet humour, surprise and statistics to encourage people to try out "The National Game".

The first of two 40-second ads showed a submarine in trouble, with the captain counting down the number of feet they were away from danger. The second depicted a couple in a restaurant, with the man coming back from a toilet stop and explaining that he had been doing "number two". Both ads morphed to a bingo hall where the actors were seen winning prizes.

The creative account had previously been held by FCA!.

FCA! used Paul O'Grady's Lily Savage character in its campaign, which was designed to advertise bingo's appeal to a new generation of players.

The ads also promoted 'the national game', where individual bingo halls link up to play each other.

NBGA's advertising has traditionally aimed to reverse a decline the bingo industry suffered after 1994 and the launch of National Lottery. It has tried to extend the game's appeal beyond its core 'blue rinse brigade'.

A softening in advertising restrictions in 1997 has enabled bingo operators to advertise for the first time.

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