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Paddy Power immigrants ad banned

An "

PaddyPower
inappropriate" Paddy Power advert which referred to immigrants in Calais has been banned.

The ad, which featured on social media channels, showed a lorry covered in pictures of sports stars Raheem Sterling, Mo Farah, Manu Tualigi and Eoin Morgan, who were born overseas but have represented England or Great Britain, and Andy Murray, who is from Scotland but plays tennis for Britain.

A message on the side of the vehicle read: “Immigrants jump in the back! (But only if you’re good at sport)".

The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) upheld complaints which had described the advertisement as being "in poor taste, offensive, racist and exploiting the situation that immigrants in Calais currently found themselves in".

In defence of the ad, the Irish bookmaker insisted that while it sought campaigns which were "edgy", it had never intended to cause offence and regretted the offence caused in this instance.

According to the ASAI, Paddy Power "said the advertisement in question was created as a satirical joke in respect of Britain’s leading sportsmen ahead of Andy Murray’s second round match at the 2015 Wimbledon Championship and they had not designed the advertisement to cause offence or to be insulting to immigrants".

"They said they were of the opinion that the tongue in cheek language and mixture of sportsmen and race used in the advertisement made it clear that they were not subjecting people to ridicule or exploiting them on the grounds of race."

In upholding the complaints and banning the advert in its current form, the ASAI declared that it was "inappropriate for advertisers to refer to vulnerable groups, in a manner that highlighted their current high profile difficulties, in marketing communications merely to attract attention", even if the majority of Paddy Power followers on social media would probably have been aware of the brand's 'edgy' sense of humour.
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