Costa Rica-based sports book BetOnSports on Thursday launched an aggressive TV advertising campaign in the United States calling on viewers to voice their disapproval of proposed federal legislation to ban online gambling.
Television ads are scheduled to appear on 25 stations across the country over the next 32 days. The campaign could be extended beyond that point if it proves effective.
Last night SpikeTV, a cable channel that bills itself the "First Network for Men," ran an ad with an actor sitting in front of a waving American flag and talking about how U.S. citizens enjoy more freedom than anyone else on Earth. The ad then flashes up the URL "www.betonsports.com/freedom" as a voiceover explaines that betting on the Internet is a constitutional right and urges Americans to step forward and fight for that right.
The narrator encourages viewers to go to the Web site for more information and to sign a petition that will be sent to Congress.
The ad closes with another image of the American flag waving in the wind and the voice asking, "If they take away this freedom, what will they take away next?"
David Caruthers, CEO of BetOnSports, said the ad is part of an aggressive fall promotion to raise awareness of the prospective prohibition bills that have floated around Washington for several years.
"The ads are in conjunction with an online campaign and billboards we have taken out," Caruthers said. "There will also be ads in newspapers across the entire country. We wanted to turn up our lobbying efforts and focus on more of a grassroots campaign to make the public aware that the government is trying to prevent them from having freedoms on the Internet."
Visitors to the Web page advertised in the commercial find a brief summary of legislative efforts and are asked to sign the petition and/or send a letter to their congressmen. Those visitors are also just a click away from setting up a new account or placing an online wager (Although the ad does not mention anything about BetOnSports being a sports book).
Caruthers said the campaign is off to a good start. About 100 letters were sent Wednesday (the first day the site was up and running) and 204 were sent Thursday (the first day the commercial aired).
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