The unprecedented reaction to Paddy Power’s latest marketing stunt got the whole world talking but will the short term gain be offset by long term pain?

The initial reaction to Paddy Power’s latest controversy was outrage. In modern parlance this was a WTF moment. WTF were they thinking? On how many levels can they offend people?

In case you have been on holiday to some far flung location and missed it: Paddy Power has been reprimanded by the UK Advertising Standards Authority after a public outcry followed its UK newspaper ad that tied in with the film industry’s Academy Awards.

The ad featured an Oscar statuette with the face of Oscar Pistorius. It featured the text: “It’s Oscar time; Money back if he walks; We will refund all losing bets on the Oscar Pistorius trial if he is found not guilty”.

The double-amputee Paralympian and Olympian is currently on trial in Johannesburg, accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He denies the charge, and claims that he mistakenly shot Steenkamp, thinking she was a burglar.

The ad was reportedly the most complained about advert of all time in the UK. The outrage was understandable. Not only did it seem to trivialise the death of a young woman, it also mocked Pistorius’s disability.

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