Ladbrokes has appointed Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) to its &£3.5m ad account following a five-way pitch against Publicis, J Walter Thompson, Clemmow Hornby Inge and incumbent Banks Hoggins O’Shea/FCB (BHO).
The betting company initially asked agencies to pitch for a smaller project for its retail division last year, but widened the brief to its entire gambling portfolio, which includes about 2,000 shops and its online gambling business (MW December 4, 2003).
BBH already handles the online gambling business of rival bookmaker Paddy Power. Barnaby Evans, marketing director at Paddy Power, says the conflict should not affect its relationship with BBH “in the short term”. He adds that Paddy Power is not planning any above-the-line advertising.
Ladbrokes commercial director Dominic Harrison, who oversaw the pitch, says that BBH’s first task will still be to develop the cash-betting brand. Harrison adds that all future advertising activities for Ladbrokes will be also be handled by the agency.
BBH will work with retail marketing director Chris Edgington to devise an advertising and branding strategy to take advantage of the deregulation in the gambling industry. Edgington joined BBH late last year (MW December 11, 2003).
Ladbrokes’s ad business was previously split between BHO, which handled the online gambling business, and ex-Bates agency 141, which was responsible for the retail business.
Next week, Ladbrokes will launch a print and poster campaign supporting its &£1m free bet promotion that will run during the three days of the 2004 Cheltenham Festival.