888 to withdraw controversial adverts from London transport network

Gambling Insider had warned of the potential carelessness of the advertising campaign. London's buses and tubes will no longer carry the adverts.

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888 has removed its latest gambling campaign from around London.

Updated: A spokesperson for 888 confirmed that there was no suggestion from Transport for London (TfL) to remove the advertisements. 

Rather, the advertisements were removed due to feedback on them.

As sent to Gambling Insider, the spokesperson said: "888 is resolutely committed to safe and responsible marketing practices and ensures all marketing activity is fully compliant with the strict advertising regulations applied across our industry."

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In last week's GI Friday, Gambling Insider questioned the thinking behind the campaign and, according to reports in the UK media, it will no longer run.

Indeed, it might be time to evoke a new advertising campaign… and this might be something Gambling Insider and The Guardian agree on...

The advertisements were placed on or around bus stops, tube stations and inside the carriages themselves.

They read “This carriage is now a casino,” “Your bus is now a casino”, or others to that effect.

The advertisements were met with widespread backlash, from both the public, organisations and politicians alike.

National Expert Advisor on Gambling Harms Henrietta Bowden-Jones, said: “No it’s not a casino, it’s a London Underground train carriage.

“A child in school uniform was sitting below this gambling advert.”

This was shared on social media alongside a photo of the advertisement in question.

TfL has been notoriously strict with advertisements in the past, infamous for rejecting advertisements for cake and cheese.

An 888 spokesperson said, as reported by The Guardian but since confirmed to Gambling Insider: “We continuously listen to feedback regarding the effectiveness of our advertising campaigns and acknowledge that, while fully compliant with all advertising regulations and standards, our latest campaign could be interpreted in a different manner to the brand position we aim for.

“As a result, we have decided to change the focus of this campaign and are withdrawing certain adverts that are currently running.”

However, there was no clear indication as to which adverts in particular would be taken down.

A London Labour spokesperson said: “City Hall commissioned an independent review of existing research on harmful gambling to help develop understanding of this subject.

“Further policy work is under way and will be considered carefully by Sadiq if he is re-elected on 2 May.”


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