Online bingo brand Brits Bingo has surprised their fans and others by sticking by Gavin Henson after he lost contracts with both his rugby team and another of his large sponsors. Henson, who has found himself kicked out of his rugby team, Cardiff Blues, is said to have acted inappropriately on a flight from Glasgow to Cardiff and this has lead to him coming under fire from his other leading sponsor Nestle, but not it seems Brits Bingo.
Like Iceland food stores before them, Brits Bingo has chosen to stick by a condemned star despite the reactions of their other sponsors. Just last month, Foxy Bingo Celeb Mum of the Year 2011 Stacey Solomon was dropped by the brand after being seen smoking in public, despite being seven months pregnant. However, Iceland, the high street frozen food store, stuck by their star and plans to keep using her in their advertisements. It seems Brits Bingo has gone down the same route with Henson. Foxy Bingo were quick to drop Solomon and move on from the whole affair.
Henson came under fire after being reportedly drunk on his flight from Glasgow to Cardiff and acting inappropriately. Sources say he threw ice cubes around the cabin which led to some crew members refusing to serve him and eventually, he found himself out of a job and losing one of his leading contracts. Henson has been the face of Brits Bingo since March 2011 and has featured in some of their television adverts. Unlike Nestle, Brits Bingo are keen to keep Henson on their team and speaking on behalf of the brand, director Anthea Michael defended him as both ‘a real gentleman’ and ‘a brilliant father’ which are both qualities they consider valuable for a representative of their brand.
Michael went on to say that of course Brits Bingo don’t condone Henson’s actions however, there might be a case for believing things had been ‘blown out of all proportion’. Brits Bingo also felt that sacking Henson would be an impulsive action that wouldn’t benefit their brand and as a popular figure with their customers, they were willing to give him another chance.
It’s interesting to see how different brands and bingo companies react to their celebrity representatives acting out of turn. Whether you can equate Henson’s inappropriate behaviour to Solomon’s is another story but it’s clear that Brits Bingo is a company which is more willing to overlook such behaviours if it keeps the star on their side, whilst Foxy Bingo is keen to keep its reputation clean. Whether or not Henson’s presence will help or hinder Brits Bingo in the future is yet to be seen.