Paddy Power, the company which seems to relish causing offence in its advertising, has become embroiled in a racism storm after posting a tweet confirming it would be paying out early on a Floyd Mayweather beating Conor McGregor this weekend, under the phrase: “We always bet on black.”
The full ad, which shows a victorious Mayweather showered with cash, reads: “Always bet on black. We’ve paid out early on a Mayweather victory. Because we checked only one of them is a boxer.”
The campaign has triggered a barrage of criticism, accusing the bookmaker of racism, including: “Who was stupid enough to come up with that tag line?”, “It aint the 80’s now you know”, “You can’t say that in this day and age”, and “Presumably someone thought this was edgy and good for publicity”.
Perhaps unsurprisingly Paddy Power denies any wrongdoing, insisting that the quote had been misunderstood and had been used in reference to a “classic movie line” from 1992 movie, Passenger 57.
In a statement the firm said: “Like Wesley Snipes – who famously delivered the line – Floyd Mayweather is rightfully proud of his identity and, while the advert does reference his race, it does so in a manner which isn’t in any way derogatory or insulting.
“It’s also a betting-related pun which references a roulette wheel. Because we’re about gambling – get it? If people don’t like it that’s entirely their prerogative.”
While the company has run into trouble with the Advertising Standards Authority on numerous occasions – most notably for its Oscar Pistorious ads – its most recent campaigns have managed to swerve any action.
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