An advert for Paddy Power was banned after it was deemed to encourage repetitive gambling behaviour, showing it taking priority over family. The ad, established in March 2022 across TV and online, featured a woman asking her boyfriend, “Do you think I'll end up looking like my mum?”. Distracted by a gambling app, he replies, “I hope so.”
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the ad breached rules on socially irresponsible advertising, and Paddy Power has been told not to show it again. The company accepted the ASA's decision and would consider the guidance.
It's not the first time Paddy Power has come under fire for its advertising. In 2017, the ASA banned one of its ads which showed a man betting on his wife's funeral. Paddy Power responded to that criticism by saying that the ad was “a bit of lighthearted fun”.
It's unclear what the company will do in response to this latest ban. However, given its history of pushing the boundaries with its advertising, it's unlikely that Paddy Power will change its ways soon.
The Paddy Power marketing team states, “We are dedicated to responsible behaviour, and it is always our aim to comply with the Advertising Codes. We acknowledge the ASA's decision and will consider their broader advice going forward.”
In the ad, a male is shown prioritizing gambling over his family life and being “socially irresponsible.” The complainants said the man's actions in the ad demonized him for allowing gaming to take precedence over his family. Paddy Power defended the advertisement, stating that it demonstrated a “commitment to family life” since it showed a typical household with the man joining his girlfriend's parents for Sunday lunch and intended to be “joyful”.
The ASA banned Paddy Power's advertising in its current form, saying that they “represent gambling as more essential than other activities in life, or promote, incite, or encourage gambling activity that is socially irresponsible,” according to the betting firm.
The decision was applauded by Clearcast, the body in charge of ad clearance in the United Kingdom, which said it would consider the guidance while clearing future gambling advertising. The restriction follows a larger initiative by the ASA to regulate irresponsible marketing and impose more stringent gaming advertising rules.