Bookmaker gets slammed on social media
Controversy and Paddy Power are bedfellows but poking fun at migrants trying to come to the UK from Calais? Not cool.
The bookmaker has been branded “distasteful” and “disgusting” for its slogan on a Dover truck which read, “Immigrants, jump in the back! (but only if you’re good at sport)” with images of Jamaican-born England footballer Raheem Sterling, Somalia-born Mo Farah, Samoa-origin rugby player Manu Tuilagi and England cricketer Eoin Morgan, who is from Ireland.
The advert also carried a photo of Andy Murray, who was born in Glasgow.
Spotted at Dover this morning… pic.twitter.com/3RCTQp7mdl
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) July 2, 2015
Rory Scott, head of UK PR at Paddy Power, told PRWeek the firm had “no regrets” over the advert.
He said: “Humour is subjective and I’m sure many people feel offended at the jokes on ‘Have I Got News for You’, for example. What’s going on in Calais is topical, but this wasn’t an observation of that crisis. This was more of a gag about some of our leading British sport stars.
“We were playing on the joke that Andy Murray is Scottish when he loses and British when he wins.”
Twitter is abuzz with criticisms of the advert:
— Ryan Kilbey (@KilbeyOfficial) July 2, 2015
— Katie P (@LadyPolitic) July 3, 2015
Given migrants have died trying to stowaway on lorries, Paddy Power’s “hilarious” advert seems to be in poor taste
— Mirren (@MirrenGidda) July 2, 2015
#PaddyPoweradvert is colossally idiotic. Right strategy wrong tactics. Not funny, witty, sensical. clever. Guerrilla advertising at worst
— Toby Nicol (@TobyNicol) July 3, 2015
If your laughing at Paddypower adverts then you really need to sit down and reassess your life.
— Tom (@TomBeynon) July 2, 2015
@paddypower Good news! I’ve just endorsed you on LinkedIn for “Using human suffering to convince poor people to gamble”.
— Toby Fair (@TopTopPundit) July 2, 2015