when the fun stops stop an analysis of the provenance framing and evidence of a responsible CORD-Papers-2022-06-02 (Version 1)

Title: When the Fun Stops Stop: An analysis of the provenance framing and evidence of a responsible gambling campaign
Abstract: When the Fun Stops Stop is a prominent responsible gambling campaign in the UK originally funded and delivered by the industry-initiated and funded Senet Group. Since the Senet Groups dissolution in 2020 the campaign has been overseen by the Betting and Gambling Council (BGC) the main gambling industry trade body. There has been no prior analysis of the activities ideas and framing adopted by the Senet Group who claimed to be acting as an industry watchdog and oversaw what they characterised as a major public education campaign. We collated written and image-based material related to the Senet Group and its When the Fun Stops Stop campaign from multiple sources. Guided by Entmans four functions of framing we analysed the Senet Groups framing of the issues it sought to address particularly harmful gambling as well as its causes and the solutions focusing on the groups main activity: the delivery of the When the Fun Stops Stop campaign. We also critically appraised an evaluation of the campaign funded by the Senet Group using the findings to interrogate the stated claims about the campaigns effectiveness. The analysis showed that the Senet Groups framing of the problem its causes and proposed responses resemble those adopted by other industries and industry-funded groups. This involves portraying any harms caused by their products as limited to an atypical minority rejecting upstream determinants of harm and promoting individually-targeted voluntary measures all contrary to the evidence of what works in health promotion and what would characterise a public health approach. Neither the existing evidence base nor the evidence presented by the Senet Group support their claims about the campaigns effectiveness. These findings add to concerns about industry-funded campaigns in other areas. To minimise conflicts of interest interventions intended to address gambling-related harms such as public education campaigns should be evidence-based and developed implemented and evaluated completely independent of the industry and industry-funded organisations.
Published: 2021-08-26
Journal: PLoS One
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0255145
DOI_URL: http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0255145
Author Name: van Schalkwyk May CI
Author link: https://covid19-data.nist.gov/pid/rest/local/author/van_schalkwyk_may_ci
Author Name: Maani Nason
Author link: https://covid19-data.nist.gov/pid/rest/local/author/maani_nason
Author Name: McKee Martin
Author link: https://covid19-data.nist.gov/pid/rest/local/author/mckee_martin
Author Name: Thomas Samantha
Author link: https://covid19-data.nist.gov/pid/rest/local/author/thomas_samantha
Author Name: Knai Ccile
Author link: https://covid19-data.nist.gov/pid/rest/local/author/knai_ccile
Author Name: Petticrew Mark
Author link: https://covid19-data.nist.gov/pid/rest/local/author/petticrew_mark
sha: 4bf0eb9c498e21e0fab80120e8f5152d37d488be
license: cc-by
license_url: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
source_x: Medline; PMC; WHO
source_x_url: https://www.medline.com/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/https://www.who.int/
pubmed_id: 34437561
pubmed_id_url: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/34437561
pmcid: PMC8389453
pmcid_url: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8389453
url: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0255145 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/34437561/
has_full_text: TRUE
Keywords Extracted from Text Content: Factiva [50] problem(s Culture people taxpayer .an twinkles Senet's COVID-19 fun/not bodies a1111111111 a1111111111 Entman [55 body Senet Group's campaign-risks Schüll laptops Entman's her children industry-led Senet [55] . campaign-specific websites [14] Sky Bet bet-a cancer limit-setting CEOs [6] [7] [8] [10] [11] [12] Bad Betty' individuals Fig 1) [34] Organisations SAPROs GambleAware [48] friends paid-for samples ASA tobacco Senet Group-fun men participants alcohol Bad ideational Ladbrokes You-Tube Bet Regret [70] MP pre-print Tobacco humour help-as individuals-as lay Bohnsack [56] UK [7] tagline
Extracted Text Content in Record: First 5000 Characters:When the Fun Stops, a1111111111 a1111111111 a1111111111 a1111111111 a1111111111 The global liberalisation of commercial gambling over the past forty years has been justified by governments and industries as increasing choice for consumers while creating jobs and government revenue [1, 2] . However, it has also been associated with considerable harms to individuals, families and communities [3] . Despite promises of a shift in the regulatory environment in the United Kingdom (UK) with the Gambling Act 2005 currently under review by the Conservative government [4] , policy remains dominated by the concept of 'responsible gambling' [5] , as in many other high-income countries. The philosophy underpinning responsible gambling has been challenged in the academic literature [6] [7] [8] [9] . Concerns have been raised about how it enables a shifting of responsibility onto the individual to gamble safely, helped by limit-setting, self-exclusion, and industry-funded awareness/education campaigns, while deflecting attention from the efforts of the industry to recruit and retain gamblers, the limits of industry self-regulation, the impacts of liberalising policies, and the risks posed to democratic policy-making by the establishment of close relationships between governments and the gambling industry [1, [6] [7] [8] [10] [11] [12] . Instead there are those who support the adoption of a public health approach [2, 9, 13] , which recognises the role played by gambling policies, environments and industry practices in contributing to gambling harms, and that individual measures are often ineffective [14] and stigmatising, thereby contributing to harmful stereotypes of people who experience gambling problems [15, 16] . A public health approach is also informed by a growing understanding of the commercial determinants of health. This perspective is informed by a body of literature documenting the strategies adopted by different industries selling potentially harmful products to delay regulation by spreading doubt and placing responsibility for harm onto individuals, including the funding of industry-friendly research and public education campaigns, with the latter predominantly focused on individualised determinants of, and solutions for, the problems associated with their products, including gambling [12, [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] . This body of research also details the implications for public health posed by corporate political strategy, including expanding understanding of the consequences of the conflicts of interest that can arise as a result of corporate involvement in policy development, research, and the delivery of interventions and information [10, 17, 20, 22, 23] . These considerations, coupled with growing recognition of the broad sociocultural, environmental, commercial and political factors leading to normalisation of gambling, and subsequent gambling related harms [2, 24] have led to calls for the establishment of a public health response to gambling harms in the UK [25, 26] . However, to date, most interventions to tackle gambling harm in the UK have been led by the industry or industry-funded bodies and focus on problematising and changing individual behaviour. Independent research on campaigns funded by manufacturers of other harmful products, such as alcohol and tobacco, has repeatedly found these types of campaigns to be ineffective, misleading, or promoting the company or its products [27] [28] [29] [30] . For example, a recent Australian study compared alcohol harm reduction advertisements developed by public health agencies and alcohol industry Social Aspects/Public Relations Organisations (SAPROs), finding that the latter were less effective at stimulating motivation and intention to reduce consumption of alcohol, and incited more positive fun-related perceptions towards those who drink alcohol [31] . In 2014 four of the UK's then largest gambling companies (William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, and Paddy Power) formed the Senet Group ". . . in response to public concerns on gambling, and gambling advertising in particular" [32]. Its website described the group as: ". . . an independent body set up to raise standards in the sector, supporting the Gambling Commission's work to make services safer and fairer ensuring, in particular, that responsible gambling messages are put to players with frequency and prominence" [32]. Its activities were overseen by a Board which had responsibility for its operation, comprised of "two members from the gambling industry, two lay members from outside the industry and an independent Chair, who will act as Standards Commissioner" [33] . Its main public education activity was a responsible gambling campaign promoting the tagline When the Fun Stops, Stop (Fig 1) [34]. Initiated in 2015, this campaign has three main elements, the tagline itself, responsible gambling "tips", and "Bad Betty" advertisements [35] [36] [37] . The campaign was created by The Corner, a London-based adv
Keywords Extracted from PMC Text: Sky Bet samples Fig 1) [34] pre-print men tagline people" Senet ASA children alcohol Entman [55 tagline's English Football GambleAware [48] body COVID-19 paid-for people laptops campaign-specific websites tobacco UK's " Factiva [50] MP " [37] ... lay " [37 " [68] Culture CEOs " [41 UK fun/not Entman's Bet Regret " [70 ideational Senet's Standards Commissioner" [33] " [70] participants 's twinkles Bad bodies Bohnsack [56] Ladbrokes problem(s individuals
Extracted PMC Text Content in Record: First 5000 Characters:In 2014 four of the UK's then largest gambling companies (William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, and Paddy Power) formed the Senet Group "... in response to public concerns on gambling, and gambling advertising in particular" [32]. Its website described the group as: Its activities were overseen by a Board which had responsibility for its operation, comprised of "two members from the gambling industry, two lay members from outside the industry and an independent Chair, who will act as Standards Commissioner" [33]. Its main public education activity was a responsible gambling campaign promoting the tagline When the Fun Stops, Stop (Fig 1) [34]. Initiated in 2015, this campaign has three main elements, the tagline itself, responsible gambling "tips", and "Bad Betty" advertisements [35–37]. The campaign was created by The Corner, a London-based advertising agency whose clients include gambling and sugar-sweetened and alcoholic beverage companies, among others [36]. The Senet Group described the campaign tagline as serving "...to highlight the warning signs of problem gambling and the benefits of staying in control" [37]. The tips are provided "...to help prevent gambling becoming a problem" [37]. Campaign imagery is displayed in shop windows and on static, televised, and online gambling advertisements, including on social media. According to the Senet Group, in 2018 its messaging was displayed by approximately 40% of UK gambling companies [38]. A prevalence of approximately 40% was similarly reported by a content analysis conducted in 2018 on paid-for gambling advertising featuring on eight UK media channels [39]. It also features on sleeves of football players' jerseys, introduced as part of "a new responsible gambling campaign" proposed by Sky Bet and the English Football League [40]. In April 2020 the Senet Group was dissolved and all of its assets and responsibilities, including the campaign, were transferred to the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the newly formed industry standards body launched in 2019 [41]. The campaign continues to run in the UK, and has featured in safer gambling messaging shown throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Increased dissemination of safer gambling messaging formed part of the ten pledges made by the BGC and its member companies to keep players safe during the pandemic when players are potentially at greater risk of harm due to stress, isolation, financial difficulties, and increased use of personal electronic devices such as laptops and smartphones. Upon launching the pledges on 27th March 2020 the BGC stated that: The Senet Group had previously commissioned an evaluation of the campaign based on a repeat cross-sectional online survey of adults (18+), undertaken by Bilendi, a market research company, and performed bi-annually over the period 2015–2017 (sample sizes ranging from 2000 to 2015 adults) [43]. Based on this evaluation, the Senet Group made several claims over multiple years and in different fora about the effectiveness of the campaign. In 2018, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) rejected the Group's claim, made in The Week magazine, that the campaign was effective in reducing harm [44]. One pre-print study suggests that, based on an incentivised survey of people who identify as football fans and have experience with online sports betting, the campaign has had little or no effect on the amount they bet [45]. A second pre-print study, using larger samples of participants, higher stakes and more realistic tasks, again demonstrated evidence of either no beneficial effect or an increase in the proportion of money bet when participants were exposed to the yellow-coloured version of the campaign's messaging compared to a no-message control [46]. Furthermore, Gambling Commission CEO, Neil McArthur, questioned the effectiveness of the campaign, as well as the independence of its evaluation; "...reading claims about the effectiveness of the campaign by the same marketing team that invented it doesn't carry much weight in my view" [47]. Despite these concerns, industry-funded mass media campaigns continue to be a cornerstone of the UK's approach to addressing gambling harms, evidenced by the launch of another campaign, Bet Regret, developed by the industry-funded charity GambleAware [48], which has been criticised for its methods and industry funding [26, 49]. In light of these considerations, important questions remain: what were the ideas, problem definitions, and causal mechanisms adopted by the Senet Group that informed its work, including the design and content of the campaign as an intervention to address the problem? What evidence was drawn upon and what justifications were used to assert its effectiveness and continued dissemination? Drawing on a theoretical framework informed by framing theory, corporate strategy, and commercial influences on health, we therefore analyse the framing adopted by the Senet Group to (1) conceptualise and define the problem(s) and its caus
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