Top Rank, the bingo hall operator, is looking for a media buying
company as it prepares for its TV advertising debut following new
legislation that allows the move.
The company is thought to have ear-marked up to pounds 4 million to
spend on above-the-line advertising - primarily television - to revamp
its image and draw in a younger audience.
At least two media agencies, Booth Lockett Makin and CIA Medianetwork,
have already presented to the client. A creative agency will be sought
once a media partner has been appointed. An ad campaign is not planned
until at least the summer.
The Home Office announced last December that it will lift restrictions
on advertising for bingo and betting shops, which claim they have been
disadvantaged by the National Lottery and pools companies advertising on
TV. The new rules, which create a level playing field for advertising,
could become effective by late spring.
Historically, the bingo companies have been restricted to advertising in
the national and regional press. In addition to the media legislation,
bingo halls have also been subject to creative restrictions which have
prevented them from mentioning the prizes on offer or enticing people to
The new legislative changes are thought to be the last hope for the
bingo companies to overhaul their current image as a pastime for bored
housewives and old ladies.
The companies are keen to draw in younger consumers with an updated
A new wave of bingo halls offering better catering facilities and a
range of additional leisure activities are being developed around the
country in a bid to entice in new consumers.