Earlier this month the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) released a list of the most complained about adverts for 2016. It comes as no surprise to us that Paddy Power made the top ten TWICE!
The brands penchant for creating controversial commercials has not gone unnoticed but like all of those listed in the top ten, the complaints received about the adverts were not upheld by the ASA.
The company came in at the number five position with their commercial that featured a blind man playing football.
This commercial was first shown on TV back in 2010 and even then received multiple complaints totaling over 1,000. In 2016 there were a total of 450 complaints but the ASA chose not to reinvestigate.
The complainants felt that the advert may encourage cruelty and was offensive to blind people but common sense prevailed, and despite the number of complaints, the ASA did not uphold them.
The second of the commercials to make the top ten was from this year. In the summer Paddy Power launched a commercial that featured Scottish people singing about their lack of disappointment about not qualifying for Euro 2016.
We looked at this advert from Paddy Power in June 2016.
They were seen embracing the fact that they could still bet on England losing.
This attracted 220 complaints with viewers suggesting the commercial was racist and encourage anti-English views. Others felt that it stereotyped Scottish people.
The ASA acknowledged that some may have found the sentiment of the advert to be unkind but for the most part it was seen to be what it was, light-hearted humour and as such, the complaints were not upheld.