BBH’s ‘Ladbrokes Life’ campaign runs into trouble

UK bookmaker Labrokes knew it would be getting something different from the norm when it appointed BBH and BBH put its best foot forward to provide something rather classier than the offerings from the likes of Paddy Power and Bet 365 (mostly raucous stuff).

So it came up with a community of ‘lads’ who enjoy a bet along with their other social activities. For the most part this doubtless reflects reality – mobiles have made placing bets on football in particular just another aspect of a night down the pub. And then, as you do, it went a step further and proclaimed that this is ‘The Ladbrokes Life.’

Which should have hoisted a flag as red as the betting company’s posters. Because there are quite a lot of people – like the suckers who play on the in-shop casino machines in all the major UK bookmakers – who are too fond of, or addicted to, the life at Labrokes and its rivals. upshot is that there have been over 60 complaints to UK ad regulator the ASA over the campaign, saying it associates betting with social and sexual success (in the ad there’s a brief shot of a keen-looking blonde).

It’s a tough one for the regulators (60 or so complaints so early in a campaign is quite a lot for something that doesn’t set out to shock – although Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs seems to be the inspiration, rather bizarrely).

Mobile-boom betting has become a huge advertising category in recent years (on channels like Sky Sports there seems to be little else, including ads for its own Sky Bet). The ‘Labrokes Life’ may be due for some changes.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

One comment

  1. ‘Reservoir Dogs’?

    ‘Lock, stock and two smoking barrels’, surely?