Paddy Power’s Oscar Pistorius Promotion Causes A Stir
Bookmaking firm Paddy Power are not averse to causing a bit of controversy and they have been at it once again. Last week they opened up a betting market on the murder trial of the South African paraplegic athlete Oscar Pistorius, which starts today. They offered odds on whether Pistorius would be found guilty or not.
This move prompted quite the reaction, and was widely discussed on social media outlets such as Twitter. The overwhelming response seemed to be that Paddy Power had acted somewhat distastefully. They subsequently went even further, by running a promotion offering a refund on losing bets if Pistorius is found not guilty of murdering his girlfriend.
To advertise this promotion Paddy Power tied it in with the Academy Awards ceremony, which took place last night. They ran an advert entitled “Oscar Time”, featuring an Oscar statue with Pistorius’ head. The tagline, which many would argue is entirely inappropriate on multiple levels, was “money back if he walks”.
In an article published on Paddy Power’s blog they stated “Global media attention, bar stool conversation and pillow talk will shift from the Oscars on Sunday night to Oscar on Monday when the Blade Runner straps on his prosthetic limbs for the long walk to the high court”.
Both the advert and the promotion have received widespread criticism and a number of complaints are believed to have been logged with the Advertising Standards Authority. A petition has also been launched urging Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom to encourage Paddy Power to pull the advert.
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