Veikkaus suspends advertising after marketing backlash

By Owain Flanders

Finnish monopoly operator Veikkaus has suspended purchased advertising after receiving criticism of its marketing strategy.

Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare recently described Veikkaus’ slogans as "at odds with public health communication," calling for its adverts to be subject to the same rules as tobacco and alcohol.

As a result, state-run Veikkaus will suspend all purchased advertisement space until the end of September, except for Lotto, Eurojackpot, Vikinglotto marketing and brand and liability marketing.

While this suspension is in place, Veikkaus will conduct a full review of its marketing processes with the assistance of an external operator.

The changes come amid concerns over a rise in problem gambling in Finland, for which Veikkaus is the sole gambling service.

Olli Sarekoski, Veikkaus CEO, said: "We have made mistakes. Some of our ads have been such that they do not comply with the company’s approved marketing guidelines.

"We take responsibility for them, we are really sorry for the anger we have caused and we will learn from our mistakes."

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