Level 5, the PR company born out of the need to convince Newco fans to back one specific camp, have been given the Ladbrokes SPFL contract. Promotion of the SPFL is the responsibility of sponsor, Ladbrokes, who also pay for PR, this was not a decision by the league or member clubs.
Their brief is to manage the news and keep the words Ladbrokes SPFL in the news. Recent coverage has been a case in point.
Yesterday’s newspapers gave an excellent example of how this is operating. Ladbrokes wanted their app promoted for free in the newspapers. Their Level 5 performed to task, the Evening Times ran with:
“Murdo was promoting a new Ladbrokes ’Track Your Acca’ app which allows punters to track their bets and cash out on the go – for full details log on to thegrid.ladbrokes.com”
While the Daily Record ran with:
“MacLeod was promoting a new Ladbrokes ‘Track Your Acca’ app that allows punters to track bets on the go – for full details log on to thegrid.ladbrokes.com”
Both a copy and paste from the press release.
Here’s the rub, though. The bait for both Ladbrokes adverts was Murdo having a go at two different Celtic players. The League’s sponsor is employing a PR company, who could have chosen any subject at 42 clubs, but they chose to have a dig at Celtic players. Digging at Celtic players is one of the most reliable ways to ensure your comment runs in the newspapers.
That PR company just happens to be staffed by a former employee of a club who can hardly make a public comment without proclaiming their desire to bring down Celtic.
Ladbrokes got their promotion and two Celtic players were used as fuel, this is unacceptable. The League sponsor cannot employ a PR company who have enjoyed such a close relationship with a PR-dependent club, while undermining Celtic.
It is a fundamental conflict of interest and has to stop, Celtic cannot be cannon-fodder for the SPFL sponsor. Ladbrokes are representing the League on PR matters and cannot undermine the Celtic in this way. The SPFL cannot allow their competition to be undermined by partisan promotion.
Let @Ladbrokes know your thoughts.