Article

Examining the frequency and nature of gambling marketing in televised broadcasts of professional sporting events in the United Kingdom

Details

Citation

Purves R, Critchlow N, Morgan A, Stead M & Dobbie F (2020) Examining the frequency and nature of gambling marketing in televised broadcasts of professional sporting events in the United Kingdom. Public Health, 184, pp. 71-78. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2020.02.012

Abstract
Objective: Gambling operators in the United Kingdom have introduced a voluntary ban on adverts broadcast during televised sport before 21:00 (the 'whistle-to-whistle' ban). To inform debates around the potential effectiveness of this ban, we examine the frequency and nature of gambling marketing in televised broadcasts across professional sporting events. Study Design: Frequency analysis of verbal and visual gambling marketing references during television broadcasts of football (n=5), tennis, Formula 1, boxing and rugby union (each n=1) from 2018. Methods: For each gambling reference, we coded: whether it appeared in-play or out-of-play; location (e.g. pitch-side advertising); format (e.g. branded merchandise); duration (seconds); number of identical references visible simultaneously; brand; and presence of age restriction or harm reduction messages. Results: Boxing contained the most gambling references, on average, per broadcast minute (4.70 references), followed by football (2.75), rugby union (0.55), and tennis (0.11). Formula 1 contained no gambling references. In boxing, references most frequently appeared within the area-of-play. For football and rugby union, references most frequently appeared around the pitch border or within the area-of-play (e.g. branded shirts). Only a small minority of references were for adverts during commercial breaks that would be subject to the whistle-to-whistle ban(e.g. 2% of references in football). Less than 1% of references in boxing, and only 3% of references in football, contained age restriction or harm-reduction messages. Conclusions: As gambling sponsorship extends much beyond adverts in commercial breaks, the 'whistle-to-whistle' ban will have limited effect on gambling exposure. Gambling sponsorship activities rarely contain harm reduction messages.

Keywords
gambling; sponsorship; sports; television; marketing; advertising

Journal
Public Health: Volume 184

StatusPublished
FundersRGT Responsible Gambling Trust
Publication date31/07/2020
Publication date online02/04/2020
Date accepted by journal18/02/2020
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/30904
ISSN0033-3506
eISSN1476-5616

People (3)

People

Dr Nathan Critchlow
Dr Nathan Critchlow

Research Fellow, Institute for Social Marketing

Dr Richard Purves
Dr Richard Purves

Research Fellow, Institute for Social Marketing

Ms Martine Stead
Ms Martine Stead

Deputy Director of ISM, Institute for Social Marketing

Projects (1)