Promoting Free Spins and Free Cash? What’s the deal?

You will no doubt have encountered onine casino operators offering “free spins no deposit required“, alongside ‘no deposit casino bonus’ cash deals and other too good to be true offers. What’s the score? Are these truly ‘free’?

Well, the UK Gambling Commission thinks not, or at least not in all cases. In fact, may of the current promotional tactics leave a lot to be desired. There are  many reputable UK Gambling portals out there who have taken steps to improve the way they communicate these offers. Many websites have recently revised the language they use to remove vagueness and uncertainty around wagering and cash out requirements that the operators put in place.

For customers the changes will be largely around the language used to promote these offers, with the substance of them barely changing. Watch this space for future developments.

History of Carlton Communications Plc 1983 – 2002

It is interesting to some readers that we share the same name as a now deceased communications company. We present the history of Carlton PLC here for posterity as it is not available elsewhere on the web any longer (originally was published here: http://files.investis.com/)

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Advertising a new wave of online gaming operators

Recent changes to the UK Gambling Commission guidelines for licensed online casinos in the UK may be bringing important improvements to the management of the industry!

uk gambling commission

The UK Casino Awards website recently reported on a wave of changes that have brought real improvements to the experience offered to online casino players in the UK. Tighter legislation has ushered out many of the ‘fly by night’ operators who existed only to fleece punters, extracting a quick buck before making it extremely difficult for them to withdraw winnings, and in extreme cases closing the business and losing all player funds and deposits at the time the business is folded. New legislation ensures that player funds are kept separately to company operating capital, as well as much stricter policing of player age and background checks.

Hand in hand with this goes a new tightening of the grip on those operators and their affiliates who market to gamblers in the UK. New guidance on the use of terminology appropriate to the promotion on offer, and stricter application of checks on the provision of terms and conditions to explain the fine print make the market a much fairer place.

For more information on the changes and how they may apply to your business as a broadcaster, producer or consumer of audio visual content, check the UK Gambling Commission website.

The Future Of Television And Communications

Though the landscape of television and communications is changing rapidly, the industry is not slowing down. In fact, it is an increasing industry, especially in the areas of content marketing, social media and public relations.

reqemli1There is an increasing number of channels on television, as well as many programs being produced exclusively for the web. This means that, while there may be less of a concentration of jobs, they certainly will still be available. Advertising is also likely to increase; not only in traditional formats but also in new ways, such as affiliate marketing for web-based productions. So, while we might see a visible shift in the way television is made and monetized, with less centralization, it is safe to assume that the industry will continue to grow.

Corporate communications is also a booming industry. Not only do customers expect more from businesses and companies and expect them to react to criticism quickly, but they also demand more and more information. Consumers are taking an increasing interest in the ethics and morals behind what they consume and a business must respond with advertising and marketing accordingly.

With the influx of social media, criticism and complaints are now commonplace and very public. An efficient response to such matters is imperative and this is only likely to continue, as more people become connected to the internet.

The final and most important facet of the future of communications is that everybody who wants to own a business will have to have a knowledge of how to conduct themselves in the public forum. A savvy public demands that even a small business will need to maintain a reputable profile. In a world where bad reviews of anything are readily available online, understanding the importance of this is crucial to surviving in the digital age.

Can You Market Anything?

marketing concept with business graph and chart hand drawing on blackboard

Marketing is a multi-million dollar industry and, as the world becomes ever more mediated, it shows no signs of slowing down. At the most basic level, marketing is communication between a business and the consumer. However, its goal is more complex and this communication is framed in such a way that it persuades an individual to buy the products and services offered by the business. But can you market anything? Even things that people don’t want? The short answer is yes!

Cigarettes are the famous example of a highly successful marketing campaign. At the turn of the twentieth century, very few women were smokers. An advertising campaign, which took the form of women smoking at a parade in America, rocketed the sales; even though cigarettes are unnecessary and, in theory, most people wouldn’t want to buy them. That is, of course, until they become glamorised through clever marketing.

It is not just products themselves that can be marketed, but whole lifestyles and behaviours. Health, political ideas, ideologies and life practices can, and have, all been the subject of marketing campaigns in the past. Millions are spent by governments and organisations, not to promote a product, but to promote an idea, party or person.

Of course, things are never that black and white. While it is possible, in theory, to market anything, it doesn’t always pay off. Many marketing campaigns fail, even if they are very good. You have to fill a gap in the market. If something is already filling that gap, or people don’t believe that they need that product, then the task is much harder. The reason cigarette campaigns work so well is because they are advertised as stress-busting and sexy; who wouldn’t want to feel less stressed and more beautiful? So, find your niche and you really can market anything.

How Social Communication Is Changing Media

social-mediaSocial media has fractured the traditional communications landscape as we once knew it and has generated a whole new protocol for the media industry. Indeed, many see the introduction of social media as the first step in dismantling traditional media formats. Nowadays, everybody can be a journalist, actor or political commentator and publish their own material online. It’s tricky to say exactly how powerful social media is and to judge whether it will replace traditional formats, but it’s clear that it has made a significant impact in several areas.

Many cite the use of social media for the success of the Arab Spring back in 2010, something which is difficult to discredit. But what about the media landscape? It is a fact that print newspapers are in decline because of the internet and that many have set up their own blog or website, to varying degrees of success. But it seems that the main change is not just replacing TV shows, the online newspaper or radio broadcasts, but rather incorporating new media forms into the traditional formats. Most factual based shows now invite the viewer to get involved on social media and express their thoughts, comments and opinions. We’re seeing fusion rather than a battle between the two.

Another way the media are responding to social media is by using it as a catalyst for different material and a source of information. Journalists use it as a way to find stories and garner more details on events. Rarely a day goes by when a debate show doesn’t cover a social media story and we’re all struggling with not only the ethics of social media, but also the legality of our actions when using it.

It seems unlikely that social media will replace traditional media completely, as people still enjoy listening and watching informed professionals but it is having an ever more significant impact on the way we mediate our society.

The Rise Of Reality Television

reality-tv-logoThe TV landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade, with reality television now playing an integral part in TV schedules across the world. A loose definition of reality television is ‘unscripted television’, however, what this means in reality is very broad. It can encompass anything from talent shows to live topical debate programs. Murray and Ouellette theorised that there are eight sub-genres of reality TV, ranging from dating shows to makeover programs. However, the idea that reality television is totally new is not true. There are several examples of the genre dating back to the 1950’s and 1960’s, though it is fair to say that it used to be a marginal part of television and now it dominates the TV landscape.

But why is reality television so popular now? In its inception, it has been argued that reality television was a kind of social experiment; something which is evident in the Big Brother franchise, with the format having been screened in over forty countries. Due to its unscripted nature, this genre of television is relatively cheap to produce, compared to something scripted which needs a writer, several sets and multiple actors or presenters. This is cited as the most common reason for so much reality television being commissioned.

There are many arguments about why reality TV has become so popular with viewers. Initially it was a novelty, but why does it still remain so popular? Many believe the answer lies in the inclusion of normal people. From makeover shows to cooking contests, people enjoy seeing normal people on television. This is probably closely related to the idea that reality television can make virtually anybody famous, which, in theory, it very well can. People enjoy the possibility that they could potentially gain success and fame through a simple TV show.

The power of TV advertising

tv-advertisingThough the rise of the internet and social media has slightly shifted the paradigm of advertising, television is still the most influential medium for reaching large numbers of people. Another benefit of the television is that it reaches all demographics; the internet is used much more by young urbanites than the older generation and thus has market limitations.

Thus is the power of TV advertising that it has changed very little since its début in the 1950’s. Though the industry has rapidly expanded due to the increasing number of channels on television. How much you pay for an advert will vary dramatically depending on a number of variables. Due to time limitations, you will often pay by the second for a television advert and, therefore, keeping an advert short can reduce costs. The time slot and show in which you want your advert to be aired will also greatly influence the cost. An advert to be aired at 2am between an all night game show is going to cost considerably less than one broadcast in a popular show on Saturday night prime time television.

However, airing an advert in a cheaper time slot may not always be to your detriment. To maximise the efficiency of your advert, it’s always wise to consider the viewer demographics at a particular time. Adverts shown late at night or in the daytime, when viewing figures tend to be lower than in the evening, may be more beneficial for those advertising alcohol, gambling or products with adult themes.

One way in which the industry has had to adapt for the modern era is through monetizing catch up services. Many individuals now watch television at a later date or on demand, and they often skip the adverts when they have recorded something using a cable box. This is problematic, as people are still paying for the commercial adverts, but fewer people are seeing them. Many have tried to increase their reach by showing adverts in catch up services, which cannot be skipped to increase exposure.

Value of corporate communications

iStock_ValueIn a world which is ever more connected and company profiles ever more visible, corporate communications are becoming ever more important. Though also consisting of internal communications between different departments, the main focus of this article is on the external side.

The most rudimentary element of corporate communications is branding and marketing. This is used to maintain the knowledge of the company and advertise its products. This can take several forms, from TV adverts (though expensive, they remain popular) to using social media and Google Ads. This type of communication is carefully planned and executed. Some large companies will have in-house teams to deal with these matters, while many will employ a third-party agency.

A growing area in corporate communications is corporate responsibility. In short, this can be understood as the way in which a company or business operates ethically. In modernity, many more people are taking an interest in the way something is produced; fair trade is a classic example of this. The communications department is responsible for making it clear to the market demographic the steps a company have undertaken to become more ethical and responsible.

One of the most unpredictable facets of corporate communications is crisis management. This is the damage limitation and response of a company in light of something negative. This could be a media story, government criticism, a new law or a failure in the product. Bad press can be damaging to the finances of a company and therefore, it is critical to respond in a fast, efficient and fulfilling manner.

The final element to corporate communication is not down to the perception the general public have of them, but the one that potential investors do. In this case, it is crucial that the company is seen to have not only a strong financial record, but also public support.

How to make a TV show

1264245921-The-TV-Show_1Getting a TV show to air can be a long a gruelling process. From pitch to pilot, there are several hurdles to overcome. But many people have done it before and many people will do it again. Here you can find out about the different steps that you will encounter when you’re developing a television show.

The inception of every TV show starts with a pitch to the network; though how detailed this pitch varies dramatically. If you’re a complete outsider approaching a production company or network, then you really want to have a well thought out pitch. However, within companies themselves and in less formal settings, ideas for new shows are constantly thrown around. Understand your position and plan your pitch accordingly.

Once you have the go ahead for a pilot, then you need a formal script the cast and crew can work with. Some will require a formal script before this point, while others will simply commission on a great idea; especially for those with a proven track record of delivering great TV. So, no matter if you’re writing it yourself of working with a team, this is the time to make your script solid.

Once you have a script, the production company can begin to assemble the cast and crew. It’s not just about what’s shown on screen. The show needs a director, editor, camera crew, make-up artists and so forth. Once the cast and crew have been chosen, the rehearsal period can begin. This is when many of the changes will happen. Cast, crew, TV executives and writers will all be expressing their thoughts and opinions. Even though this might seem frustrating, everybody is just trying to make the best show possible.

Finally, after much tweaking, rehearsal, marketing and press for the new show, it can finally go on to be broadcast.