An advert by the sports betting company Paddy Power has been banned following complaints made to the Advertising Standards Agency. The ad is said to have depicted gambling as being more important than other aspects of life. It also shows someone taking the decision to gamble lightly. Two other adverts were also investigated but the ASA determined that these did not break any rules.
The first advert in question depicted a man playing Paddy Power’s Wonder Wheel game on his mobile. While playing, his partner asks him if he thinks she will look like her mother when she is older, and he replies ‘I hope so’.
The phone continues to distract him, and a voiceover talks about Paddy Power always providing second chances regardless of how much you mess up. Two complaints were made about this. The first focused on the fact that the man was so immersed in gambling that he wasn’t paying attention for the rest of his life. The second pointed out that the voiceover was promoting irresponsible gambling.
The ASA determined that both of these complaints were legitimate and as such, has banned the advert.
As well as the aforementioned advert, there were two other adverts from Paddy Power that received complaints. The first of these was an advert for the Cheltenham Racing Festival. In the advert, a joke was made about England seeing its biggest intake of Irish people since London in the 1980s. The complaints argued that the advert was derogatory to Irish people and could cause offense. There were also claims that it was making references to the IRA and their attacks in the UK. A reference to putting Irish trainers in green horse boxes also caused complaints.
The ASA determined that this advert was not offensive. It stated that there was no reference to the IRA and that the advert was a joke about the sporting rivalry that exists between the two neighboring countries.
The third advert in question was a radio advert that was also for Cheltenham 2022. In the advert, a man is having a chat with his future father-in-law. Some sort of sexual innuendo is made during the ad, and the complaint focused on this. It was said that the advert was offensive to women. During the ad, the father also describes his daughter as ‘my Olivia’, which also raised concerns. The ASA, however, did not see it this way and stated that the joke was around the anxiety of meeting an in-law, and was not designed to play on gender stereotypes.