Advertising enfant terrible Paddy Power is on its own winning streak after once again escaping the clutches of the ad watchdog, despite admitting that a poster which used a wheelchair to highlight Liverpool FC’s injury crisis was distasteful.
The outdoor campaign, which appeared in January, featured a red wheelchair that had “Property of LFC” written on the back, pictured beside the strapline “You’ll Never Walk Alone (or ever again if you play for Klopp)”.
The campaign referenced the fact that Liverpool had been plagued by injuries, with 13 players unfit to play due to hamstring or leg injuries; claimed by some to be as a result of the new training regime implemented by manager Jurgen Klopp.
While Paddy Power conceded that the ad was “distasteful” to some, it maintained it was not offensive as it did not mock disability.
And, not for the first time in recent months, the Advertising Standards Authority backed the betting firm, stating that the fact the ad was placed in Liverpool meant that those targeted would understand the context, which was obviously intended to be humourous.
Clearing the ad, the ASA stated: “We considered that although the ad may be seen as distasteful by some, it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.”
Having had numerous run-ins with the ASA, most notably its campaign which sought bets on the Oscar Pistorious trial, Paddy Power has managed to keep on the right side of the watchdog for months.
Two of its most recent ads investigated by the ASA – the Fifa scandal-inspired “Sepp Blatter F**k off” and the General Election poster entitled “Who is the biggest mass debater” – both escaped censure.
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