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What Paddy Power Advert Did People Want Banned?

Paddy Power is a bookmaker not afraid of controversy. If it is not getting in the news for taking bets on which species will be the first to become endangered/extinct due to the oil spill off the Gulf Coast, they are getting in trouble for their television adverts.

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During April 2010, Paddy Power ran an advert on British television, which was used in the build-up to the 2010 World Cup. The advert features a football match being played between blind footballers. Now, if you’ve ever seen or heard of blind football, you’ll know all players are blindfolded except the goalkeeper and the ball that they use to play the game contains a bell so the players can tell where it is on the pitch.

Basically, during the match, one of the blind footballers kicks the ball out of the pitch, during which time a cat runs onto the pitch. Unfortunately for the poor moggy, it is wearing a bell round its collar. The bell goes off and the sound effects indicate the cat has been kicked by one of the footballers.

Of course, putting it into words cannot really do is justice, so here is the advert in all its glory:

So, yes, I probably did miss some points out in my write-up, but as you can see, it’s an effective way of promoting their money-back offers, which Paddy Power has in abundance.

The advert generated over 1,000 complaints, mostly saying it condoned cruelty to animals, while around 20% also thought it was offensive to blind people. However, the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) decided not to uphold the complaints because they were “surreal and improbable” and because they weren’t shown around children’s programming. Paddy Power are free to show the adverts as they wish.

As an aside, Paddy Power also claims that they have the backing of the England Blind Football team.

What do I think? Well, I think it’s a funny advert, but more importantly, I think Paddy Power have some of the best promotions around when it comes to sports betting, as they usually have money-back offers running daily. Also, their casino is a lot of fun, so you probably should check them out. Why wouldn’t you want to bet with a company that is so much fun? Some companies try to portray a super-serious image when it comes to bookmaking, so Paddy Power definitely stands out from the crowd in more ways than one.

And if you want to see a Paddy Power advert that actually was banned, here you go:

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