A Paddy Power advertisement has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for “glamorising gambling”.
The advert in question features Rhodri Giggs, the brother of former Manchester United player Ryan Giggs, and promotes the betting site’s Paddy Power Rewards Club which awards prizes and bonuses to customers.
In the advertisement, Giggs tells viewers he always “lived a loyal life” as he’s shown drinking at the same pub, going to the same gym and buying the same brand of tea bags. However, he then states that “loyalty gets you nowhere” and urges viewers to “Live for rewards instead” as he is shown ordering champagne over his usual drink and driving off in a sports car while thanking the bookmaker.
According to The Guardian, the Advertising Standards Authority received five complaints which called the advert irresponsible as it glamorised gambling and suggested the activity was a way to make a living. Following an investigation, the ASA released a statement where they stated that the advert made tongue-in-cheek references to Giggs’ affair with his brother’s wife.
The ASA added: “We considered [the advert] created the impression that Rhodri was no longer defined by the alleged affair and that he had moved past his ‘loyalty’ and was now reaping the rewards.
“The ad implied viewers should follow his example, and that their route to doing so was joining Paddy Power’s Rewards Club. We considered the ad implied gambling was a way to achieve financial security and improved self-image, and we concluded the ad was irresponsible.”
Following the ruling, Paddy Power is prohibited from showing the advert which had originally aired three months ago on television. However, the ASA’s ruling has sparked criticism from the public and has raised questions about the organisation’s lack of powers because the firm can only ban advertisements that have already aired and been seen by millions of people.
The news comes after the Advertising Standards Authority dismissed a complaint against a Betfred Bingo advert which depicted gamer’s playing bingo while continuing with daily activities such as having a bath, cooking and exercising.
Meanwhile, the ASA was forced to ban gambling advertisements from appearing on the I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here smartphone app after casino and sports betting operator Tombola received complaints that children using the app to vote on the reality show were being bombarded by adverts.