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ASA Bans Perry Como Paddy Power Advert


29 Nov 2017

In April of these year we were waxing lyrical about a Paddy Power Games advert that used a parody of the Perry Como song, Papa Loves Mambo.

Whilst we were impressed at how the tune turned heads to watch the advert [read more here], two people took the time to make a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The issue that the two complainants had was that the advert was socially irresponsible because they felt that it suggested that it was alright to gamble when you were at work.

The ASA agreed and the consequence was that the advert was banned because it was in breach of the following two BCAP Codes:

Advertisements must not:

BCAP 17.3.1

portray, condone or encourage gambling behaviour that is socially irresponsible or could lead to financial, social or emotional harm

BCAP 17.4.3

condone or feature gambling in a working environment (an exception exists for licensed gambling premises) 

You can read the full ruling on the ASA website here.

Paddy Power Defends Their Advert

Paddy Power were very clear that they did not believe that they were in breach of any BCAP codes. The rule 17.4.3 states that an exception is made for licensed gambling premises and as the advert was set in a casino, they believed that this applied to their commercial.

Whilst the security guard clearly worked for the casino, he was shown to be diligent in his role and only used his mobile to play at Paddy Power when he was on a break. This was indicated in a very specific line in the parody of the song that said

Yea, I’ll have a spin on it, when I’m on break with it

Clearcast also believed this made it clear that the security guard was on a break.

If I had to express an opinion, mine would be that Paddy Power’s explanation works but the ASA were not having any of it and the advert cannot be shown again in its current format!