Sharon Osbourne faces an uncertain future with Gala

Gala is considering dropping Sharon Osbourne as the face of the brand
less than a year after she was signed up. The bingo operator says it is
reviewing its marketing strategy ahead of this summer’s smoking ban.

Osbourne appeared in the launch campai…

Sharon%20BingoGala is considering dropping Sharon Osbourne as the face of the brand less than a year after she was signed up. The bingo operator says it is reviewing its marketing strategy ahead of this summer’s smoking ban.

Osbourne appeared in the launch campaign for the operator’s online bingo game and Gala also sponsored her ITV chat show, which was panned by critics.

Gala says that it needs to attract more younger members and to encourage them to visit more often as it fears it may lose regular players once the smoking ban is brought in. Gala marketing director Kate Howe says its marketing strategy will need to reflect that change.

Howe adds that no decision has been taken and that it retains the option to extend Osbourne’s contract by up to a year, but her role as a brand ambassador is under review.

She says/ "We have to be clear: is the idea of celebrity right? If so, is Sharon the right one? We wouldn’t walk away from her lightly."

The brand’s biggest marketing campaign to date is due to break in October and is expected to be both brand and product led. It will be created by The Red Brick Road, which was handed the Gala Coral group advertising account in December (MW December 14, 2006).

Gala has also announced a partnership with loyalty scheme Nectar, which it expects to roll out ahead of the ban, and is also introducing new products, such as a rollover bingo jackpot, which will be allowed under the relaxation of gambling rules in autumn.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here