Paddy Power Advert Banned

Paddy Power are in hot water with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over their latest advert. It featured betting “taking priority over family” and the ASA have now banned it.

The advert was first shown in March of this year. Paddy Power are known for some rather strange adverts in the past and this one certainly got people talking.

We see a man spending time with his girlfriend and her family. He’s more interested in playing Paddy Power’s ‘Wonder Wheel’ game on his mobile. Her mother hands him a cup a tea and that causes him to look away from his mobile. Then his girlfriend asks him if he thinks she’ll end up looking like her mother. His mind is still on the game when replying “I hope so” but quickly realises how inappropriate the comment was.

Time for the voiceover that says: “‘No matter how badly you stuff it up, you’ll always get another chance with Paddy Power games.” A big smile appears on the face of the man as he looks at his phone.

Four complaints were received over the advertisement. Two blamed the obsession with the game for the inappropriate comment made. In their view, the advert portrayed betting as becoming the priority of the player and they found that irresponsible.

In defence of the advert, PPB Counterparty Services (trading as Paddy Power) disagreed with the complaints. They believe the advert showed the man had a commitment to family life by going to the home of his girlfriend’s parents’ home for a Sunday lunch.

The company are well known for putting some humour into their adverts. They feel that the criticised advert was light-hearted and there was no indication that the player had any gambling problem.

That didn’t go down well with the ASA though. They responded that the humour in the advert “relied on a gaffe caused when the man was distracted by the gambling game.” They accepted that the advert was light-hearted in tone. However, the ASA felt most viewers would put the reason for his behaviour entirely down to the fact “he was distracted by gambling.”

That led to them ruling the advert showed gambling “taking priority over family.” The Paddy Power advert cannot appear again in its current form. In addition, the ASA have told the betting company that future adverts must not “portray gambling as indispensable or as taking priority in life, or portray, condone or encourage gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible.”

Paddy Power accepted the decision and replied that they are “committed to responsible practice.” They added that their intention is always to “comply with the advertising codes.”