William Hill launches new ‘Zero Harm’ campaign By Luke Haward, CDC Gaming Reports July 19, 2018 at 8:22 am It looks a little like the tide regarding problem gambling in the UK is really starting to turn; this new Zero Harm campaign by William Hill is both relieving and inspiring. It’s a bold move, as are the graphics on their front page, which drag across a model’s face and transform him from clean and upstanding, even chirpy, to haggard, dirty and desperate-looking, with bags under his eyes. “Uncovering the hidden side of gambling” reads the message as you scroll. While the timing couldn’t be better for a branding run on these themes, Will Hill maintains that this is not just some kind of bandwagon-jumping rebranding effort in light of the company’s recent failings. The firm was, after all, found guilty of “systematic social responsibility and money laundering failures” in February and agreed to pay a £6.2 million penalty to appoint external auditors to assess their policies in these two areas. The firm’s new “zero harm” campaign promises real action, and the site’s front page is dominated by it at the moment. They outline nine key actions they will be taking to make this move substantial. The firm plans to immediately pilot mandatory tools for players, including imposing deposit limits for at-risk players, giving players better data to help them make ‘conscious choices’, and to offer additional training in partnership with responsible gaming experts. Their longer terms plans are stated in the nine key actions; these include new programmes for colleagues, the creation of a fund for Responsible Gambling Innovation, and the development of Key Performance Indicators for responsible gambling. The final three keys concern wider collaboration in the industry. These consist of convening experts to crowdsource new ideas for approaching problem gambling, urging industry-wide adoption of mandatory account-based play as a baseline for secure gaming, and pushing for legislative change on TV advertising during live sports broadcasts. William Hill have a long road ahead of them if they’re to substantially realize these ambitions. Still, setting them out in strong and certain terms is a potent and wonderful statement from a major bookmaker. As William Hill Director of Strategy and Sustainability Lyndsay Wright said about the launch: “There will be bumps along the road. We will be criticised. Some of that criticism will be fair.” The balance and resolve apparent in the message presented by this campaign is impressive and convincing. It has an air of conviction. Now let’s see them put a serious amount of money behind it from their still vast profit margins. William Hill made over £270 million in profits during 2017; it’s fair to say they could afford that £6m fine. What’s needed next is a serious budget behind these serious ideas. Then they can really achieve something, and we can all champion them for leading by example and pulling the industry towards a bright future. This launch is a damn good start. Now, what’s the old expression? Let’s see you put your money where your mouth is.