why i hate tom waterhouse

I’m not a fan of the current generation of betting agencies, not by a long shot. The pervasive advertising, the convoluted terms & conditions, the overwhelming encouragement to bet by whatever means, whenever and wherever possible… really, there’s not much to like.

But none of them draw my ire the way Tom Waterhouse does. The clean-cut, baby-faced ever-grinning fourth-generation bookmaker is in another league to his competitors; whenever his face appears (as it seems to do countless times a day) the red mist descends.

disclaimer: recently in the comments section of this blog, I was accused of being hateful and vengeful. I dispute that… but when it comes to Waterhouse, guilty as charged.

Why? Why does Waterhouse get under my skin in a way none of the other betting agencies does?

Is it the saturation tactics he uses, with his constant ads on free-to-air TV, pay TV and radio? His expert spots on a range of news services & sports coverage? His tram, trundling around Melbourne’s CBD?

Is it the (mostly) free ride he gets from the print media? Lengthy, gushing articles like “Behind the scenes with Tom Waterhouse” (Daily Telegraph, June 2011), “A serious man” (SMH, May 2012) and “Tom Waterhouse: The thoroughbred” (Daily Telegraph, October 2012)? Articles overflowing with praise for the dynamic young man, not to mention compulsory mentions of his romance with Hoda (now his wife). Why, the Daily Telegraph’s “Sydney Confidential” even covered their wedding back in July last year. The weight of glowing testimonial certainly outweighs any negative coverage he gets.

Is it his tactic of giving money to celebrities (mainly sporting celebs) to bet with him on races, with any winnings going to charity? Stephanie Rice, Quade Cooper, Robbie Farah, Lara Bingle… the list goes on. He gets a mountain of publicity out of this tactic for minimal outlay… surely these charities would be better served if he just gave them the money?

Well, yes… and no. There’s a very simple reason why Tom Waterhouse shits me more than anyone else. And it’s this:

A few days ago, I received a parcel in the mail. It was my signed print of @FirstDogOnMoon‘s “Evil Tom” cartoon. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a brilliant piece of cartoon satire that shreds Waterhouse’s “everywhere, all the time” tactics.

My kids had just been dropped off at my place for their weekend with Dad, and as I opened the mailing tube and unrolled the print, my 11-yr-old daughter looked over my shoulder.

“What’s that?” she said. “Oh… Tom Waterhouse.”

A moment’s silence.

“You know Tom Waterhouse?” I asked.

“Yes, he’s the gambling guy,” she replied.

Another moment’s silence.

“HOW do you know Tom Waterhouse?” I asked.

“Eh, his ads are all over the TV. He’s annoying,” she answered.

THAT’s why I hate Tom Waterhouse. The saturation tactics, the media-friendly approach, but mostly his decision to brand his company with his face and his name, means that even my 11-yr-old daughter knows him BY NAME. Knows who is he, what he represents. Knows that he’s that “gambling guy”.

I should point out that I don’t rant about the gambling industry to my kids, although I have & do talk to them about it (as I feel all parents should). And I know that her mother, my ex, has no interest in gambling, so it’s not like she’s being overly exposed to the Waterhouse blitz there.

No. This is what happens when a company, a “dynamic young entrepreneur” like Waterhouse, smears itself across our TV screens, newspapers, public transport and anything else it can find. They don’t just reach their alleged “target” audience; they reach everyone. Even our kids.

For what it’s worth, my daughter thought First Dog’s print was hilarious. And no, she doesn’t like Tom Waterhouse either.

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8 Responses

  1. Allison Keogh says:

    Great post once again Tom. It really is outrageous.

  2. fAMILYMAN says:

    The lowest form of giving is to tell every one you gave. I saw him and his toothy mum and dad and brother at an inquiry and they were so full of them selves. They think they are royalty..hahaha.

  3. Susie says:

    That’s really shocked me. Your daughter may not be influenced to gamble but there will be plenty who will. How is it possible as a parent to warn your kids of the dangers of gambling when you have this saturation promotion constantly in their faces? It makes me really angry. Did you see this article BTW? This really burns me up too. What a farce the approval process is.

    “A LEAGUES club in one of Sydney’s problem gambling hot spots was allowed to add 102 new poker machines in return for a donation to the local community. But the donation has been channelled into a new grandstand for its own football ground.”

    http://m.smh.com.au/nsw/onearmed-bandits-20121201-2anpz.html

  4. Barbara Cronin says:

    I am not a betting person, I’ve seen the destruction wrought by gambling . Broken marriages, families and businesses. So when I see that cheesey grin ,it reminds me of the
    brass plate on a coffin, I see his mother’s cheesey grin, she who not long ago was in strife for providing substandard living conditions for strappers and trainee jockies. That cheesey grin says ,”I’m making a mint, life is good for me and mine and you poor gullible fools are
    making that possible.” I wonder how much they give to the victims of gambling or any
    other charity for that matter, Bugger all! Waterhouses! sucking the blood of misfortune for four generations.

  5. Shelley Argent says:

    Sorry Tom, but when I see you on the TV i mute the sound or switch channels. I understand gambling is part of your family’s industry but it can cause so much pain to others while you profit.
    Get a real job.

  6. Caroline says:

    T Waterhouse makes me sick. Like a really stinky piece of dog doo doo I’ve stepped in with my best shoes. The social costs of his ‘business’ will be his to bear in time.

  7. John says:

    Get your Sh!t eating grin the f@ck out of my lounge room

  1. April 29, 2013

    […] …The saturation tactics, the media-friendly approach, but mostly his decision to brand his company with his face and his name, means that even my 11-yr-old daughter knows him BY NAME. Knows who is he, what he represents. Knows that he’s that “gambling guy”…This is what happens when a company, a “dynamic young entrepreneur” like Waterhouse, smears itself across our TV screens, newspapers, public transport and anything else it can find. They don’t just reach their alleged “target” audience; they reach everyone. Even our kids. – Cyenne […]

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