LONDON: The UK government's abrupt change in attitude towards Las Vegas-style gambling on its home soil has prompted a dozen gaming groups to quickly compile voluntary advertising guidelines.
The departed Blair administration's warm disposition toward liberalisation of betting in Britain became markedly cooler with the arrival six weeks ago of new prime minister Gordon Brown and his disciples.
Under pressure from new culture secretary James Purnell, the gambling industry has now put together a code to help operators produce "socially responsible advertising", in sharp contrast to the marketing free-for-all it had been anticipating.
Gambling promoters have agreed a voluntary pre-9pm ban on television commercials and an end to branding on children's replica soccer shirts. They will, however, be allowed to screen ads during soccer games, horse racing and other sports events
All TV ads will have to carry a reference to gambleaware.co.uk, a website established to provide advice and support for those tempted to cash in their grandmothers for a few more chips.
Industry executives said the new rules would cause some problems because they were agreed so close to the expected lifting of the ad ban under the provisions of the Gambling Act 2005.
Comments Clive Hawkswood, ceo of the Remote Gambling Association: "Some money will have been spent on advertising and buying slots."
Data sourced from MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff