James Greet, founder of advertising agency Ikon and recently appointed media chairman for Australian marketing service company STW, told investors this week that he hoped they’d enjoyed the betting advertising boom of recent years, because it wasn’t likely to continue. Even when you discount sponsorship deals, Australian betting firms reportedly injected around $100m into the domestic ad business over the last two years, and Ad News quoted Greet crediting the betting biz as the ad industry’s fastest growing segment over a period of sustained decline. However, with the betting industry now facing ‘legislative challenges and consumer backlash,’ ad agencies should expect a period of retrenchment.
Perhaps the imminent arrival of UK bookies Betfred on Aussie shores will help reverse that trend. Betfred, which recently withdrew its services from Australia as it prepares to launch a Northern Territory-licensed .au site, is planning a new £10m television ad campaign on its home turf during the 2013/14 football season. The campaign represents a more than threefold increase over Betfred’s TV buy during the previous two footie seasons, leading Betfred.com managing director Chris Sheffield to tell eGaming Review that the company had “massively upped our game.”
While Sheffield humble-bragged that Befred (whose co-founder Fred Done is pictured above, warning you not to change that dial) was “spending the same if not more than the biggest operators now,” the company intends to differentiate itself from those firms by focusing on “treating the customer well and being friendly and entertaining,” as compared to competitors’ pitches that were “all very shouty and about prices and special deals.” Manchester’s BJL agency, which has handled the company’s account for nearly two years now, has devised a “You’ll love a bit of Betfred” campaign to highlight the sheer joy of betting with the Fred.
Sheffield said the company had spent the a good portion of 2013 “beefing up” its customer service and payments capabilities to handle the extra traffic the new campaign is expected to generate. Sheffield will likely be entirely happy to be labeled a hypocrite when the end of the season rolls around and he gets ‘very shouty’ about the boffo business the company enjoyed.