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Online betting firm 888.com to withdraw adverts after row

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The casino company 888 has to withdraw adverts after branding the London Underground and taxis with slogans like ‘this carriage is now a casino’ and ‘fancy a spin?’

They’ve received criticism over the tone of the adverts, with people left questioning why the Transport for London (TFL) accepted the campaign.

In previous years, TFL has rejected a poster showing strawberries and cream and another showing a Victoria sponge cake because they promoted unhealthy eating.

The comedian Ed Gamble even had to replace the hotdog in his promotional poster for his tour Hot Diggity Dog, switching it out for a cucumber instead.

The Guardian has confirmed 888.com will be withdrawing some of the adverts, with a spokesperson saying: “We continuously listen to feedback regarding the effectiveness of our advertising campaigns and acknowledge that, whilst fully compliant with all advertising regulations and standards, our latest campaign could be interpreted in a different manner to the brand position we aim for.

“As a result, we have decided to change the focus of this campaign and are withdrawing certain adverts that are currently running.”

Gambling advertising on the travel network

Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones, who is a prominent expert on addiction and oversees the National Problem Gambling Clinic in the UK, took to the X social media platform to share her thoughts – asking the government travel network and the Mayor “when is this going to stop?”

The backlash has brought attention to the current Mayor of London Sadiq Khan as he included the banning of gambling advertising on the Tube and other Transport for London services in his 2021 manifesto pledge.

Over the last few years, gambling and casino-related adverts have continued to be accepted by the travel network. The BBC has reported that TFL earned £663,640 in revenue from gambling adverts between 2022-23.

On May 2, residents in London will be taking part in the mayoral election. One of Sadiq Khan’s rivals, Susan Hall, has been calling for a more ‘common sense approach’ to the review of adverts as she says there’s an inconsistency at the moment which is ‘baffling for Londoners.’

Featured Image: From X, @HBowdenJonesOBE

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