Online Gambling's Paddy Power Shelves Ad Campaign

Published Thursday, November 19, 2015 -
Online Gambling's Paddy Power Shelves Ad Campaign

The situation in Europe has been upsetting to say the least with the refugee migration creating issues for every country in the European Union. Acknowledging there is real suffering going on is the first step to finding compassion for those unfortunate people caught up in the conflicts of the middle east. Unfortunately there are advertizing firms and companies that hire them that have little respect for the principals of decent marketing practices.

Again Paddy Power the iconic and always provocative online gambling operator has been asked to remove one of its campaigns by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland. The July a campaign that involved refugees trying to reach the UK utilized a semi-truck driven to the French port of Calais, where refugee camps have been set up to accommodate the huge number of refugees. The truck was painted Paddy Power green and featured photos of sports stars while the accompanying text read, “Immigrants, jump in the back! (but only if you’re good at sport)”

Complaints were received saying the advertizing campaign was offensive, in poor taste, racist and was “making a joke out of human tragedy” potentially creating negative feelings toward these immigrants. Paddy went on the defensive using its social media channels, saying the ad was a “satirical joke,” the main point of which was “poking fun at ‘British’ sporting talent.” Paddy maintains that the ad campaign “had not in any way incited racial hatred,” and considered the ad to be “edgy, humorous and engaging. ”

Paddy Power also claimed that the “vast majority” of the audience who viewed the ad on social media channels were customers who “could reasonably be construed as being fans of their services and the mischief element of their marketing campaigns.” The ASAI conceded that gambling operator’s customers were accustomed to the company’s irreverent marketing approach but upheld the complaints saying it is “inappropriate for advertisers to refer to vulnerable groups, in a manner that highlighted their current high profile difficulties, in marketing communications merely to attract attention.”



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