At The Races offers bookmaker advertising for the first time
Bookmaker adverts are set to become more prominent on At The Races after the channel opened the door to spot advertising for the first time.
Gambling firms had previously been limited to sponsoring specific programmes on the channel, but will now be permitted to broadcast during advertising breaks as well.
The move by ATR comes ahead of the government’s long-awaited review of the gambling industry, expected this month, which could include the potential restriction of bookmaker advertising on television before the 9pm watershed.
Tony Sweeney, commercial director at ATR, said: “We’ve always been looking at it [spot advertising] – there’s been no pressure from anyone to implement it until now.
"There’s a difference between the sponsorship, which is essentially branding, and spot advertising, which our partners feel is an additionally effective way of promotion.
“Television advertising from bookmakers has increased over the last 18 months, and we are talking to our partners on a regular basis to make sure we are doing what’s best for them. This adds to the valuable marketing opportunities we already offer to the bookmaking sector.”
The new arrangement for ATR could potentially be short-lived should the government clamp down on bookmaker advertising. However, the broadcaster felt there was no need to hold back and would deal with any fallout from the gaming review as and when it happens.
“If it is decided that bookmaker advertising should be restricted in any shape or form then we will comply with the decision,” Sweeney added.
“We have to make our decisions looking forward and not on what may or may not be happening in the short or medium term.”
Ladbrokes Coral are the first bookmakers to sign up with ATR for spot advertising, with the emphasis for the partnership put on reaching a targeted audience instead of shoring up against a potential advertising cutback elsewhere.
Ladbrokes Coral spokesman Simon Clare, said: "We've enjoyed a strong and positive commercial and editorial relationship with At The Races for many years and this advertising opportunity represents an exciting new phase in that relationship.”
Alexis Zamboglou, Ladbrokes Coral director of marketing, added: “This is an excellent opportunity for us to reach a very targeted audience. At The Races is synonymous with horseracing and importantly, with betting. Its coverage not only contains live sporting events that are vital to our sportsbook, but is delivered in a manner that revolves around the punter.”
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