Paddy Power Rapped for Another Controversial Commercial

Paddy Power’s PR team is in hot water again after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said that a recent TV advert condoned gambling at work.

Paddy Power ASA Breach

Paddy Power’s latest casino commercial has been found to encourage gambling in the workplace. (Image: campaignlive.co.uk)

Following two complaints, the ASA was prompted to review the betting operator’s advert featuring a security guard singing Papa Loves Mambo while betting on Paddy Power’s mobile casino app.

At one point in the short clip, the security guard turns away from his computer screen and looks at his phone before placing a bet.

Even though Paddy Power’s PR team argued that it was clear the man was on a break, the ASA said that there was implication that he was gambling on his employer’s watch.

With this being the case, Paddy Power was found to be in breach of ASA codes relating to normalising gambling at work and socially irresponsible betting.

Guilty by Association

Despite the investigation being prompted by just two complaints, Paddy Power has a long history of skirting the ASA’s guidelines. Back in 2014, the operator was rapped for a newspaper advert featuring South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius.

At the time the piece ran, Pistorius was on trial for the alleged murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. In a bid to piggyback off the trial’s publicity, Paddy Power opened up a sports betting market on the outcome of the case.

To advertise the special market, the Irish bookmaker created an image of Pistorius that looked similar to an Oscar statuette. Alongside the image read the quotes “it’s Oscar time” and “money back if he walks.”

In review of the campaign, the ASA concluded that it was in poor taste and, ultimately, breached two codes of conduct relating to harm and offence.

Ongoing Battles with the ASA

More recently, an ad featuring Floyd Mayweather attracted more heat from the UK’s advertising watchdog. With this much anticipated showdown with Conor McGregor set to take place in Las Vegas, Paddy Power promoted its betting market with an image of Mayweather and the tagline: Always Bet on Black.

Again, despite being playful in nature, a series of complaints were upheld and the company was forced to remove the ad.

This time around, Paddy Power has cancelled the ad at the request of the ASA, but it’s unlikely to be the last time the two organisations meet.

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