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GambleAware’s Flagship Campaign Calls for an End to Gambling Harms Stigma


Campaign from Lucky Generals aims to reduce stigma by changing societal perceptions of gambling harms and encourage more people affected to seek support

GambleAware’s Flagship Campaign Calls for an End to Gambling Harms Stigma

GambleAware, the leading charity and strategic commissioner of gambling harm prevention and treatment services across Great Britain, has today unveiled a major new integrated campaign. The new ‘Let’s Open Up About  Gambling’ campaign aims to reduce the stigma people feel surrounding gambling harms. It does this by bringing to life people’s experience of gambling harms in an effort to change societal perceptions and encourage affected individuals to seek support. 

Latest figures from the annual Treatment and Support survey highlight 75% of people experiencing gambling problems feel like they can’t open up about the issue. Gambling harms – or the negative consequences of gambling – are a complex and growing and public health issue, with data suggesting one in four of us think we know someone who has experienced problems with their gambling. 

While addressing stigma as a barrier to accessing support has been a priority for GambleAware across previous campaigns, this is the first time the charity has launched a campaign directly looking to tackle it within society. 

Commenting on the campaign, Alexia Clifford, chief communications officer, GambleAware, said, “Gambling has been a ‘hidden addiction’ for too long, with feelings of shame, embarrassment and guilt preventing people from opening up to loved ones about the issue. 

“GambleAware’s major new public health campaign – ‘Let’s Open Up About Gambling’ – is clear that gambling harms can affect anyone and that this stigma needs to end. It has been co-created with people with lived experience of gambling harms, and puts their voices and stories right at the heart of our communications. This is a critical new creative platform for our work to keep people safe from gambling harms across Great Britain.”  

The campaign, which will run across Great Britain from 13th April to 11th June, includes new creative across TV, OOH, radio, video on demand, social media, a national PR launch and new partnerships. In addition, a new Self-Assessment Tool, developed by creative digital agency Flipside, has been launched on GambleAware’s website. 

The new TV adverts by Lucky Generals were co-created with individuals affected by gambling harms. It uses conceptual drawings to illustrate the difficult emotions caused by harms from gambling, such as feeling like you’re tied up in knots, unable to focus, or experiencing a heavy weight on your shoulders. These powerful visualisations effectively bring to life the impact of gambling harms, helping the public better understand the issue and encouraging empathy. 

Andy Nairn, founding partner at Lucky Generals, said, “To show the impact seeking help can have we wanted to put the real stories of those with lived experience front and centre in this campaign. We hope to show the benefits of opening up in a way that will encourage a bigger conversation about the way gambling can make people feel.” 

PR activity, led by Freuds+, centres on the issue that stigma is the biggest barrier preventing those experiencing harm from accessing support. Alongside new data, which found over three in five (62%) agree people negatively judge those experiencing gambling harms, a new film has been released featuring TV and radio presenter Tyler West. In the film, Tyler interviews two individuals with lived experiences of gambling harms, learning about their journey and the positive turn it took once they decided to seek help. Stigma expert and Associate Professor, Dr Joanne Lloyd also features in the film, providing an expert perspective on the impacts of gambling-related stigma. 

Julia Bainbridge, founder of Freuds+, said: “We are incredibly proud to be supporting this important campaign; there is a clear and urgent need to break the stigma surrounding gambling harms. Working with GambleAware, a range of expert voices and individuals with lived experience, the campaign is looking to increase awareness and understanding around the harms caused from gambling. Only by changing society’s perceptions around gambling harms can we change behaviours and encourage affected individuals to seek the support they need. If we want to effectively address harmful gambling, then we need to treat it like the public health issue it is.” 

The campaign’s media planning and buying agency, Omnigov (OMD), developed a strategic framework built on behavioural science that resulted in a multi-channel plan for the Stigma launch delivering education at scale, modelling and persuasion to vulnerable, disadvantaged communities with timely interruptions to encourage action. Media channels range from linear and connected TV, OOH, Press, Audio, Social and Display with in-depth, long-form storytelling delivered via partnerships with LADbible, Acast, Complex and South Asian TV stations delivered in relevant language. 

Maxine Ames, client business director at MGOMD, explained, “Working with the GambleAware team both client and agency side has been a delight as we get the important message of gambling harms out to the general public with this vital Stigma campaign. We look forward to making an impact with this brand launch, breaking down the barriers to people seeking help to get them talking openly about their challenges without fear of feeling judged or discriminated against.” 

Strategic partnerships, led by 23red, part of Capgemini Invent, will generate scale and raise awareness around the support available. Tackling the stigmatisation of gambling harms requires a whole system approach, working in partnership with others. As part of the integrated campaign, GambleAware and 23red have brought together a coalition of trusted organisations from the private, third and public sector who share a common purpose to prevent gambling harm.  

Alice Muir, business director at 23red commented, “Building on our continued work with GambleAware, we are proud to play our part in the latest campaign to keep people safe from gambling harms. At 23red, we know that partners can act as a catalyst to help those who gamble and experience harm to open up and get help early. That’s why we are building a coalition of like-minded organisations who are committed to tackling gambling harms and stigma. Together, we can challenge perceptions and encourage those who are affected to seek support.” 

Anyone concerned about their gambling, or that of a loved one, can search GambleAware for free, confidential advice, tools and support. The National Gambling Helpline is also available on 0808 8020 133 and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 


Agency / Creative
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Categories: Gambling, Sports and Leisure

Lucky Generals, Mon, 17 Apr 2023 13:23:36 GMT