Well, that was fast. Less than a month after rolling out its brand new marketing campaign, UK bookies Ladbrokes have found themselves in hot water with the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ‘Ladbrokes Life’ campaign features five over-the-top archetype/stereotype characters, at least one of which Ladbrokes hopes you will identify with, like how girls used to pick which Sex & The City character they most resembled. (By the way, Lads CEO Richard Glynn? A total Miranda.)
While most people have slated the 60-second commercial spots as bog standard film school grad Guy Ritchie parodies, it’s the associated outdoor poster campaign that the ASA is putting under its microscope. Campaign Live reported that the Bartle Bogle Hegarty-designed posters had generated 67 complaints to the ASA as of midweek, with most of the naysayers apparently believing the posters “glamorize gambling, link it with social and sexual success and exploit the credulity of young and vulnerable people.”
A fake Ladbrokes spokesman responded by saying, ‘well, duh.’ Meanwhile, the real Ladbrokes spokesman said overall feedback to the campaign had been “overwhelmingly positive” because of the ads’ mild tone, which stood “in marked contrast to other aggressive campaigns” out there, like that Bet365 ad where Ray Winstone threatens to come to your fucking house and strangle your fucking kittens unless you place a fucking in-play wager right fucking now, you fuck.
The Lads spokesman went on to say that the complainers were “a few people who have had a sense of humor failure” and Lads trusted that the complaints would be dismissed in due course. Lads is also disappointed that the controversy has overshadowed its industry pioneering use of a commercial (viewable below) telling people to gamble responsibly, which, going by Lads recent earnings reports, the public has apparently interpreted as ‘don’t gamble with Ladbrokes.’