Right before the beginning of the Melbourne Cup, problem gambling in Australia is being addressed by a series of fake adverts released by The Peloton, a local comedy group.
The company released two video ads this weekend, making a parody of the ads format often used by gambling operators such as William Hill, TAB, Sportsbet, etc. The videos were called “new ads from BrokeLadsSports365” and were aimed at highlighting the devastating impact that gambling has on Australians. Reportedly, local players are expected to spend a total of AU$500 million on the Melbourn Cup today.
Such parody adverts are not limited to the Melbourne cup or racing season only. As a matter of fact, local media broadcast them over the entire year, especially at the time of sporting events, and have already built a strong presence in the local TV air.
Both adverts which were aired, were aimed at raising the awareness of current and potential customers about the possible negative effects from gambling and the psychological techniques used by gambling operators to attract more customers to their services.
Australian Government Tries to Tackle Gambling-Related Harm
According to the latest reports released by the Australian Government, approximately AU$22 billion are spent on an annual basis by country, which accounts for about AU$1,200 per adult. This amount is almost twice as large as the amount spent in countries such as the UK, Canada and New Zealand.
In 2016, the local media AdNews presented a report following an inquiry on the effects that gambling ads have on local citizens, according to which gambling was qualified as the Australian advertising business category that has seen its popularity rapidly increase. As revealed by Standard Media Index (SMI) figures, money invested on gambling adverts increased since 2011, with that amount rising from AU$91 million to reach a total of AU$236 million in 2015.
At the same time, the Australian Government and local advertising regulatory body are trying to deal with the gambling-related harm and all possible negative effects associated with gambling. Earlier in 2017, the authorities made a decision to suspend betting ads aired over live sporting events. Reportedly, the Government and advertising watchdog have been considering to impose a possible ban on sports betting and gambling adverts during live sporting events broadcast on radio channels.
As part of this strategy, an online betting start-up, called Neds, was forcefully made to remove one of its adverts that was considered to be promoting excessive gambling after the country’s advertising regulatory watchdog received over 60 complaints about the ad in question. The Neds’ advert which was taken down featured a number of tradesmen on a worksite, with them being too occupied to place bets on a betting website rather than do their work. The advert’s ending featured the operator’s slogan, calling potential customers to bet.