Officals at Paddy Power have apologized for briefly offering odds on the chances of a deceased football player taking the helm at Birmingham City. Though the odds were live for only a few minutes, the backlash on social media lasted quite a bit longer.
Paddy Power’s trouble started when punters noticed that the bookmaker had posted odds that Ugo Ehiogu a former player for Aston Villa and England would take over at Birmingham City. Ehiogu, tragically, died from a cardiac arrest on April 20 of this year. Officials at Paddy Power quickly noticed the error and took steps to correct it within five minutes of the odds going live. But in the age of ubiquitous social media, a few minutes was all it took for a backlash to develop.
On social sites such as Twitter, the public blasted Paddy Power for acting in, “pretty poor taste,” while others blasted the error as, “sick.”
Paddy Power quickly issued a statement apologizing for the error saying:
This was a genuine error, a trader re-used an old market as a template for this one, and didn’t notice that Mr Ehiogu was included. Obviously, that was a mistake, one which was rectified as soon as it was spotted, within minutes.
While this is not the first time that Paddy Power has found itself in the eye of a public relations hurricane, it seems to be the first time in a very long time the hurricane was not developed on purpose. Paddy Power has long had a reputation for edgy marketing and as recently as last month was chided for promoting the Mayweather/MacGregor fight with an ad featuring Floyd Mayweather that read, “We always bet on black.”
There’s no word on whether or not the trader responsible for the error will remain employed with the company.