Bookmaker Paddy Power is now in the middle of controversy again. Oh no, again?! It seems that the betting company likes to cause a huge stir.
Paddy Power, a major bookmaker in Britain and Ireland and owner of Australia’s Sportsbet, vowed to destroy an ad reportedly related to the Ashes Cricket series between Australia and England that features disgraced Australian entertainer Rolf Harris, who is currently serving jail time in Britain for sex offenses.
The ad, which places an image of Harris alongside the words “the only Aussie we don’t want to get out,” has appeared on social media pictured on a billboard despite the company’s claims that “it will never be released in public”.
In the past, Paddy Power had planned to run their advert around this summer’s Ashes series between England and Australia but became concerned that they may have ‘crossed the line.’
The betting firm said the picture of the billboard ad was released by an unauthorized tweet and “although potentially amusing for the cricket fan,” it had decided to destroy the ad because of the “potential to cause offense.”
This isn’t the first time Paddy Power’s ads have created brouhaha. If you could still remember, The Independent reported that Irish football manager Roy Keane sued the famous bookmaker for an ad featuring his face manipulated to resemble the main character from the film Braveheart.
Another offensive billboard campaign it has deployed recently was the distasteful joke about the Calais migrant crisis when they sent a lorry down to Dover with the slogan: “Immigrants, jump in the back! (But only if you’re good at sport).”
Aside from that, it was only last year that Paddy Power received a record number of complaints when it released an advert to coincide with the Oscar Pistorius murder trial, offering punters “money back if he walks.”
See? The controversial betting firm indeed creates hubbub whenever it makes and releases an ad. It might be funny for many, but surely, some could cause offense to several people. Paddy Power must study their adverts first before releasing it so as not to offend the multitude of people reading it, especially the personalities they feature in the ads.