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SBD Global/March 20, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

The Advertising Standards Authority Condemns Paddy Power's Pistorius Ad

Paddy Power "brought advertising into disrepute with its Oscar Pistorius 'money off if he walks' campaign that drew a record 5,525 complaints, the regulator has ruled," according to the PA. The bookmaker's ad "became the most complained-about U.K. ad of all time two weeks ago," partly fueled by an online petition on Change.org "objecting to the offer of a refund on all losing bets if the South African Paralympian is found not guilty of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp." The ad, which appeared once in the Sun on Sunday, "showed an image similar to an Oscar statuette with the face of Pistorius," next to text stating: "It's Oscar Time. Money back if he walks. We will refund all losing bets on the Oscar Pistorius trial if he is found not guilty." The Advertising Standards Authority said, "Given the content of the ad, and the prevailing circumstances at the time of its publication, we concluded that it brought advertising into disrepute." The ASA ruled that the ad "must not appear again in its current form." The ASA added, "We told Paddy Power to ensure their future ads did not cause serious or widespread offence and did not bring advertising into disrepute" (PA, 3/19).
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