Betting On The Cause

Bay State Takes Aim at ‘Problem’ Gamblers
BOSTON–Social marketing firm causemedia has been chosen to develop an 18-month campaign to combat compulsive gambling.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, in conjunction with the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, recently selected the 3-year-old agency following a public bidding process. The shop beat out several local contenders for the $600,000 assignment.
The agency is planning a quartet of 60-second radio spots aimed at “gamblers who are destroying their lives” through various forms of compulsive wagering, including sports betting and Keno-type games, said causemedia chief executive Donna Latson Gittens.
The ads will target seniors, young people, ethnic groups and the public at large, said Gittens, a former vice president of community programs for Boston ABC affiliate WCVB-TV. Gittens noted that the statewide effort is aimed at “problem” gamblers, not responsible bettors who enjoy legal, state-funded lottery games.
The spots will include a “helpline” number referring compulsive gamblers to treatment centers, said DPH official Kathleen Herr Zaya.
Though it is overseeing campaign development, causemedia is relying on research from the Advocates for Human Potential in Sudbury, Mass., and creative development from Bennett + Partners Advertising and Marketing in Framingham, Mass. Parkinson Media in Newton, Mass., will handle placement.
Watertown, Mass.-based causemedia has ties to the DPH, having worked as a subcontractor on the state’s tobacco control campaign.