Controversial Paddy Power advert cleared by ASA

Controversial Paddy Power advert cleared by ASA

Friday, September 18, 2015 Totally Gaming
Fifa boss was targeted by bookmaker

Paddy Power has escaped censure by the UK’s advertising regulator after complaints against a press advertisement featuring controversial Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

The advert, which was used in the Guardian newspaper earlier this year, featured odds on the candidates for the 2015 Fifa presidential election. An image showed Blatter revealing the winner by holding up a piece of paper, which said "Me". Text at the top of the ad stated, "Just F**k Off Already!"

A complainant asked the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) whether the use of the word "f**k" was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

While Paddy Power acknowledged that "f**k" was a reference to a word which could be deemed offensive, it said that it had hidden part of the world, that it was in keeping with its brand voice, that it was designed to reflect criticism of Blatter and that it was only used in a publication aimed at adults.

In its ruling, ASA said: "We noted that the ad appeared in the Sport section of the Guardian, which we understood had an adult readership and frequently contained swear words.

"We considered that readers of that section were likely to understand that the ad was intended to be a light hearted comment on the ongoing allegations of corruption within Fifa, and in particular the controversy surrounding Sepp Blatter's tenure as Fifa president.

"Because we did not consider the ad would be offensive to those who were likely to see it, we concluded that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence."

The campaign was created by RPM and Paddy Power's in-house team.

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