Sirpa Paatero (SDP), the Minister of Local Government and Ownership Steering, has promised to add advertising to the agenda of her next meeting with Veikkaus, the state-owned gambling monopoly. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)


THE RECURRING PROBLEMS in Veikkaus’ advertising are an indication that the rules of advertising are not perfectly clear to the state-owned gambling monopoly, views Sirpa Paatero (SDP), the Minister of Local Government and Ownership Steering.

“It’s clear that there’s some room for specification because they keep on ending up in situations like these,” she commented to Uusi Suomi on Monday.

Veikkaus last weekend announced it has withdrawn an ad from radio circulation following a public outcry over its contents. In the ad, people with a craving for gambling ask a therapist whether it is acceptable for them to dream about hitting the jackpot. The therapist encourages them to satisfy their gambling needs at racetracks or on the website of Veikkaus.

Velipekka Nummikoski, the deputy chief executive at Veikkaus, admitted last weekend that the ad was unsuccessful.

Paatero on Monday stated that she is not familiar with the ad in question but commended the betting agency for its response. “The feedback has been heard and the ad has been pulled. This is the conclusion you should draw if there’s even the slightest of doubts that an ad is inappropriate,” she said.

The National Police Board asked Veikkaus earlier this summer to examine an ad in which the betting agency evidently drew a parallel between going out for a cup of coffee and playing Keno, a lottery-like game offered by Veikkaus.

The ad was later pulled.

The National Police Board has also reprimanded the state-owned company for running ads that target at underage people and create a positive image of gambling.

“The next time we sit down with the company, it’d be good to also talk about advertising. Allowing Veikkaus to advertise is warranted, but the advertisements have to be appropriate also in the eyes of authorities,” outlined Paatero.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi