Britain’s bingo industry is to consider selecting agencies for a
promotional drive following the Government’s decision this week to relax
the controls on advertising.
Industry sources said that, with pounds 800 million a year being staked
in bingo clubs, a multi-million pound spend could be anticipated.
The Bingo Association of Great Britain hopes to run a generic campaign
for the industry on television. It will leave local radio and press
advertising to individual companies such as Rank.
In a consultative document this week, the Home Office proposed that
bingo clubs should be allowed to run ads in newspapers and magazines,
cinemas, on billboards and radio, and to use direct mailshots to promote
However, the Government is much more cautious about television ads for
bingo. It warned: ‘We must be satisfied before proposing any relaxation
in these restrictions that the result would not be to encourage
vulnerable people - particularly the young - to gamble excessively or
to accept gambling as a normal leisure activity without being aware of
the risks involved.’
One option is to amend the Independent Television Commission’s code to
allow TV ads to be shown, but not during or next to children’s
The Government’s plans to sweep away the controls over the gaming
industry - predicted in Campaign (12 May, 1995) - follow pressure by the
bingo industry to be able to compete on equal terms with the National
Casinos, which are also covered by this ruling, will now be allowed to
advertise in listings magazines, holiday guides and telephone
directories. The industry also hopes to run ads in local newspapers.
The Government ruled out ads for casinos on TV or radio. It said the
move would ‘carry much more substantial risks’ than for bingo.
Betting shops will also be permitted to advertise more freely in
newspapers, on billboards and to use mailshots, but not to advertise on
television or radio.
The advertising industry will be asked for its views on the proposals
during a three-month consultation period.