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888 withdraws London underground ads after backlash



888 withdraws London underground ads after backlash

The gambling brand had been criticised for the campaign.

London.- The London-listed gambling operator 888 Holdings has announced that it will withdraw controversial adverts from the London Underground and London taxis. With phrases like “this carriage is now a casino” and “fancy a spin?”, the campaign had been criticised by the media and the House of Lords Peers for Gambling Reform group.

Some also questioned why Transport for London (TfL) had approved the campaign when London Mayor Sadiq Khan had pledged to ban gambling ads on the Tube. TfL has notably blocked ads for artisanal cheese and even for the Wimbledon tennis tournament’s famous strawberries and cream for promoting unhealthy eating.

A London Labour spokesperson told the Guardian: “City Hall commissioned an independent review of existing research on harmful gambling to help develop understanding of this subject. Further policy work is underway and will be considered carefully by Sadiq if he is re-elected on 2 May.”

An 888 spokesperson said: “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.”

London-listed 888 Holdings plans to rebrand as Evoke Plc. It surpassed its guidance for Q1 revenue at £431m. In international markets, online gambling revenues increased by 6 per cent. While total revenue was down 1 per cent in UK & Ireland, gaming revenue was up 4 per cent, helping to offset the drop in sports betting revenue. The company said UK online revenue was expected to return to year-on-year growth from Q2. However, revenue from William Hill retail operations was down 7 per cent amid a 2 per cent reduction in shops 

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