The most persuasive and constant gambling advertising of them all. TV!

Written by Ben Thacker(Campaign founder)

When this campaign started, its primary purpose was to get today’s large number of modern-day betting shops off the high-streets and away from the influence of children and young people. Not only that, but to raise awareness of the large volume of problem gambling that has manifested  in the UK since 2005, and the many forms of social depression created by it.

For those that have seen the first Neuroliberation campaign documentary, you’ll know that the campaign originally focused on the issue of betting shop proliferation.
But since my time campaigning I've had my eyes opened by others to the other forms of gambling that cause many others lives to spiral out of control.
The most common responses I seem to get are often in concern of how easy it is to gamble on your mobile phone these days, and how gambling advertising is now always on the TV.

Not long into the campaign I’d been reminded that The Jeremy Kyle show is sponsored by foxy bingo which also I was concerned about since the show is portrayed to be about morals and ethics.
I guess overall it really got me thinking – how much is gambling really promoted on TV?

For now let’s put aside all the sports and bingo adverts on almost every page of a newspaper, the ads on almost every TV break and the supposed ‘free offers’ that infiltrate our Facebook feeds.
Let’s look a little deeper to a more subtle level of gambling promotion, to where gambling is rammed down our throat since the day we are born. Game-shows.

Our logical problem-solving brains love games. They simply can’t resist the challenge.
But as our mind machinery starts working and getting stuck into it, we forget that it’s all a circus whilst constantly being suggested that it could be us winning the large sums of cash and prizes on offer.

The audience claps and cheers and the contestants show passionate signs of excitement.
The circus is in full swing as the presenter himself speaks with an energetic and engaging voice. “How does it feel to win all this money he says”.
Maybe TV really is the devil? Once in its time it could have served a greater purpose to inform and educate us, but once we've taken a step back and look at it from another perspective we see that it’s nothing more than a constant charade to hype up and convince us that their version of reality is how life really is.

We’re subliminally suggested for hours on end each day to keep dreaming of ‘the win’, and that ‘that win’ will solve all our problems.
Even the game-show title ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’ sounds like a well marketed and response-provoking question. I'm sure anyone with a decent bit of sales experience would agree.

The odds of a jackpot winning line on the lottery is approximately 1 in 14 million, yet millions of us are constantly told week in week out “It could be you”. On Wednesday’s and Saturdays it’s us the people that are inside the circus tent, it’s us that the excitement-building game-show host is spurring on.
Somewhere inside it all is a much bigger message being subconsciously pushed – the association of great feelings with winning large amounts of money.
The game-show circus charade with its engineered ‘group think reality’ tricks us into believing that it’s normal because this is how everyone apparently thinks.

Some say that it’s just entertainment, but I’d like to believe we're intelligent enough beings to search for something a little more meaningful. Whenever I see a game-show on television nowadays I can’t help but feel how meaningless and ego-creating they are
The hosts often portray as much laughter, humour and personal connection as they can into the show but it still doesn't hide the spell.

My critics will complain that I'm nit-picking and making mountains out of molehills, but what is it that I'm trying to achieve by writing this piece?
I guess all I'm trying to do is get people to think about the suggestions and concepts that are pushed onto us, and get them to ask ‘Is this really a healthy and constructive pattern of thinking?’

It's worth thinking about. Stay wise!