The Week: Ladbrokes spot heralds the end of gambling ad ban on TV

Ladbrokes has become the first bookmaker to exploit the new laws allowing gambling advertising on TV, with a commercial featuring a cast of ex-footballers.

The 60-second ad broke on Tuesday, and stars Ian Wright, Ally McCoist, Lee Dixon and Chris Kamara as a group of builders having a fry-up in a cafe. The TV presenters Kirsty Gallacher and Jimmy Hill also appear in the commercial.

The £5 million campaign was created by M&C Saatchi and features the endline: "Everyone's got an opinion, what's yours worth?"

Ladbrokes is the first of what is expected to be a rush of gaming companies taking advantage of the 2005 Gambling Act, which came into force on 1 September.

In a last-minute review of the legislation in August, the culture secretary, James Purnell, and the gambling industry agreed new restrictions including a pre-watershed ban on gambling advertising, except during sporting events.

It is expected that the advertising will be closely monitored by the Government and pressure groups to assess its impact.

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