Paddy Power, the Irish bookmaker with a reputation for running cheeky advertisements ran afoul of Irish ad regulators who deemed a series of ads from the company to be “racist”. Earlier this week the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) ruled that a group of Paddy Power ads for the 2019 Six Nations tournament earlier this year crossed the line between joking and offending.

The ads in question feature cheeky commentary on the 800-year-old conflict between the British and the Irish and included text like, “Dear England, Sorry for the last two years of pain, suffering and humiliation. Another 798 and we’ll be even. Paddy Power”, “Welcome to the biggest English-speaking City in Europe”, and “Try putting a tariff on this Irish beef”. While these ads may seem merely edgy (or even a little nerdy) to most folks, at least six people’s feelings were hurt enough that they filed complaints with the ASAI.

Even more surprising is the fact that the ASAI upheld the complaints. In their ruling, the ASAI stated that the ads were likely to cause offense. That said, the peevish ad regulators did acknowledge that a few references to physical violence were actually ok in an ad for a rugby tournament, according to a report on the Journal.ie.

Officials at Paddy Power, who have a lot of experience defending their edgy adverts saying that the ads were clearly tounge-in-cheek and were popular with customers in both countries. They went on to further state that no offense was meant by the ads anyways. Company officials also stated that they didn’t receive any complaints about the ads directly from customers.


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