Ladbrokes launches ads for online poker

Ladbrokes, the bookmaker, has drawn on images from the Wild West in new ads to promote its online poker game.

The print initiative through Banks Hoggins O'Shea/FCB features gunslingers who have come to a sticky end playing poker in Western saloons.

The aim of the campaign is to contrast risky ways of playing the game for money with the safety and security of the Ladbrokes online portal - ladbrokespoker.com.

The ads explain that "Nobody's ever been killed playing poker online.

Instead, you'll find loads of real people playing multiplayer poker for real money." The ads were written by Brian Riley, art directed by Matt Lee and photographed by Spiros Politis.

Pure Media is planning and buying media for the campaign, which will run in national press and style titles in an attempt to reach affluent thirtysomething men.

This demographic, which is likely to have already had some experience of online gaming, is thought ready to be introduced to poker's more niche appeal, provided it can be assured about security.

Barry Malone, the Banks Hoggins board director responsible for Ladbrokes, said: "There's still a fear that the web can be an unsafe place to spend money. In the case of gaming, this has been made worse by the sheer number of dodgy operators."

He added: "The big advantage for Ladbrokes is that it has the stature and reassurance of a strong brand that has built up trust through many years' trading on the high street."

Ladbrokes was an early entrant to online gaming, having launched its Gibraltar-based services in October 2000. It prides itself on its heavy investment in security.

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