Media shops in bid for Top Rank bingo after legal changes

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.

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

play.



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

proposition.



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.



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