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    Betfair axes dog branding to stay complaint with gambling ad regulation

    To meet the Committee for Advertising Practice’s (CAP) new gambling regulations, Betfair Casino has axed its dog-themed branding and replaced it with an Only Fools and Horses-inspired mascot. 

    On October 1 CAP enforced new advertising rules that prohibit the use of marketing that has a “strong appeal to under 18-year-olds or [could] be associated with youth culture.” This includes celebrities that are popular with young people, video game imagery and animals after the regulator said they have a strong appeal to children. 

    This put Betfair Casino’s two-year-old marketing campaign featuring dogs at risk of falling foul of the new rules. To stay one step ahead, Betfair culled all its existing marketing that used animals and set about developing a compliant replacement.  

    Betfair axes dog branding to stay complaint with gambling ad regulation
     
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    With a nod to the 80s sitcom character Del Boy (who is not rooted in youth culture), Betfair has introduced Brett Flair, a singing London market seller. 

    Betfair worked with its long-time agency partner Pablo to help it solve the regulation conundrum. Pablo’s strategy director Chris Turner says: “There wasn’t a dry eye when regulations sent our dog creative vehicle off to doggie heaven.”

    But Turner says it was Pablo’s responsibility to help Betfair Casino stand out while “navigating the choppy waters of tighter restrictions.”

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    Turner previously told The Drum about the challenge of developing regulation-safe campaigns for Betfair’s recent ‘Finger Ball’ campaign. “It’s a fine line between building entertainment and trying to do the thing that advertising needs to do in order to capture someone’s attention, but not going too far and falling foul of regulations,” he said at the time.

    Speaking about Brett Flair’s conception, Turner says he “relished the challenge” and ultimately invented an ownable asset for Betfair, which is something the dogs couldn’t do. 

    Describing its new mascot, Betfair said: “Imagine if a British market stall seller had a baby with the greatest Vegas performer of all time, then that offspring would be Brett Flair.” Born and bred on the streets of Camden and decked out in a Del Boy-inspired sheepskin coat and gold medallion, Betfair says he aims to “bring a bit of flair to your everyday life.”

    The first spots to use Brett will consist of two 30-second TV ads promoting the slot games Spin Til you Win and Prize Pinball Jackpot. The ads feature Brett singing his own version of I Want It That Way by The Backstreet Boys. Radio and digital out-of-home (DOOH) ads and sponsorship idents will support the TV ads, along with social content and digital activity.

    Mad Cow Films produced the spots, with Simon Cole directing and Jam Studios post-producing. Wave Studios created the jingle. 

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