SBD/Issue 14/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

County Council Rules Ryder Cup Paddy Power Sign Must Come Down

Irish Betting Website Ordered To Take "Paddy
Power" Sign Down Before Ryder Cup Starts

Ireland-based betting website Paddypower.com attempted to create a 250-foot-long, 50-foot-high sign "about 500 yards from the Celtic Manor Twenty Ten Course, site of this week's 2010 Ryder Cup," but a company spokesperson said it was ordered to "take the sign down by noon" today, according to Alex Miceli of GOLFWEEK. Work on the sign began early Tuesday morning, and "some mistook the sign as support for Padraig Harrington as they arrived" at the course. However, the sign, which is "almost as large as the famous 'Hollywood' sign," was an advertisement for the website. The Monmouthshire County Council "sought an injunction to force removal," and by 7:00pm local time Tuesday, the company was "summoned to appear in a Cardiff County Court about the sign" (GOLFWEEK.com, 9/29). MARKETING magazine's Katherine Levy reports Paddypower.com "has come under scrutiny for adopting guerrilla marketing tactics." Paddy Power, the Head of Communications for the website of the same name, "agrees that is what they are doing." He said, "I guess it kind of is (guerrilla marketing). There's nothing bad about that though, if it's on private land outside the boundary." Power added that he "did not agree he was infringing on official sponsors' rights." Power: "Where's the boundary? If there's a sign in a hotel 10 miles away, what's the difference?" But he acknowledged that sponsors "might feel hard done by." Power: "If you were an official sponsor with those miniscule little logos around the course, then maybe that’s an issue, if you've paid all that money" (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 9/30).

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