A newspaper advert for Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has been cleared of causing offence by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after two complainants challenged whether it was inappropriate for alluding to masturbation.

The ad appeared in the UK daily newspaper the Metro, and featured images of deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and the leader of the right-wing, anti-Europe party Nigel Farage with the text: “Who’s the best mass debater?”

It also offered odds on each politician, who on the day the ad was published were to engage in a televised debate on Britain’s membership of the European Union.

It attracted two complaints, both of which highlighted the fact that the text referred to masturbation, and was therefore likely to be viewed as offensive under Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code rule 4.1, relating to harm and offence.

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