ASA Cautions Paddy Power Over Giggs Advert

Paddy Power has incurred the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) wrath once again, this time for an ad featuring Rhodri Giggs.

Rhodri Giggs Paddy Power advert

Paddy Power has been forced to pull a recent advert featuring Rhodri Giggs. (Image: Paddy Power)

Created by VCCP and released back in February, the tongue-in-cheek promo made light of Giggs’ now infamous breakup.

Giggs Scandal Makes Perfect PR for Paddy Power

Being the brother of ex-Manchester United star Ryan Giggs, Rhodri is no stranger to the spotlight. However, in 2011, he was thrust into the full glare of the media.

At the heart of the matter was an eight-year affair between Rhodri’s wife Natasha and his brother Ryan. A messy split ensued, with Rhodri and his celebrity brother becoming fodder for the national press.

Fast-forward to 2019 and Paddy Power decided to parody the public spat. In the advert (see video above), Rhodri tells viewers that “loyalty gets you nowhere” but “rewards” do.

As well as taking a shot at his brother, the advert was a way of promoting Paddy’s Reward Club.

Over the last few years, Paddy Power has become famous for its deliberately provocative PR material.

In 2017, the Irish operator took a shot at countryman Conor McGregor ahead of his boxing bout against Floyd Mayweather. Just days after, it was scolded by the ASA for an ad deemed to promote gambling at work.

All Publicity is Positive for Paddy Power

Since 2017, Paddy Power has managed to avoid any formal action but that hasn’t stopped it from testing the boundaries.

In March 2019, its Brexit Bunker promotion made a play on the current political unrest in the UK. While that offer didn’t generate any complaints, the use of Rhodri Giggs has.

After receiving five complaints, the ASA reviewed the advert. Although it admitted that the lavish lifestyle shown was “not the result of gambling,” there were issues.

The main problem is the implication that Rhodri newfound luxuries were linked to gambling. By making reference to the idea of rewards not loyalty, the ASA said the advert was, in effect, glamorising gambling.

For that reason, the complaints have been upheld. Paddy Power will now have to modify or pull the advert in order to avoid disciplinary action.

However, for a company that often takes the opinion that all publicity is good publicity, the latest ASA showdown will be seen as another marketing triumph.

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