ASA And Paddy Power At Loggerheads Again
The ongoing battle between the UK’s advertising Standard Authority and Paddy Power continues this week as they have been given a warning once again for an advertisement they have placed on television.
Paddy Power has built quite a reputation from their ads which often have a tongue in cheek approach to events. Their humour and often risqué style has drawn public attention for many years now and has garnered them acclaim and many new members.
The ASA have been tightening their advertising standards recently, removing advertisements that even hint at contravening their code of conduct. While enforcing regulation is a good thing, the ASA have offered little leeway for operators in advertising their products. Paddy Power is unfortunately the perfect candidate to fall fowl of such strict regulation as part of their ad campaign’s appeal is the fact that it toes the line.
The Details Of The Advertisement
The offending ad features a casino security guard who sings a song about having a go on a casino game in his break. In the advertisement the guard sings the song “Pappa loves Mambo” by Perry Como but with altered lyrics. In the new lyrics he sings, he is heard saying “I’ll have a spin on it when I’m on my break”.
According to the ASA the advertisement promotes gambling in the work place which is against their guidelines, despite the clause that exceptions are made if the gambling takes place in licensed gambling premises, i.e. a casino.
Paddy Power highlights this rule in their defence stating that it is impossible that they have breached the standard of the ASA. They also additionally consulted with the Clearcast media agency before finalising the ad who advised them to emphasize that the guard is not gambling on duty but while on his break.
The ASA did note rule 17.4.3 in their guidelines which does state that there is an exception for showing gambling in legal premises. However, the security guard, while being in a casino, was also in his work environment as he is working at a casino. They maintained the advertisement was socially irresponsible and requested that the advertisement be pulled or Paddy Power will face fines.
It has been quite an unlucky year for Paddy Power who have seen numerous ads pulled. As they say, there is no bad publicity and Paddy Power has certainly started to set expectations with fans that are waiting for new risqué ads from the operator.
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