Paddy Power has come been condemned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after it was censured for its use of a ‘racist’ ad featuring boxer Floyd Mayweather, who it was also sponsoring in the run up to his prize fight against UFC alumni Connor McGregor.
The controversial promotion saw the Irish betting firm use an image of the boxing champ alongside the caption ‘always bet on black’, running the campaign in London Evening Standard and Metro newspapers during the build-up to the boxers clash with UFC fighter Conor McGregor.
This produced nine complaints from the general public, prompting the ASA to censure Paddy Power, stating: “We considered that readers would . . . be offended by the invitation to always bet on the outcome of a boxing match based on a boxer’s race.”
A Paddy Power spokesman insisted that no offence had been intended by the campaign, stating: “The line was approved by Mayweather who saw it as a humorous dig at his rival before the fight,” a Paddy Power spokesman added. “The wording was, in fact, branded on to Mayweather’s shorts for the weigh-in, at the request of the American fighter’s agents.”
Paddy Power is no stranger to controversy having built its name with a succession of PR stunts designed to keep it in the headlines; including a 'crappucchino' anti-Costa Coffee campaign and an intimate portrait of ultra-conservative DUP leader Arlene Foster snogging Theresa May.