ASA to investigate Paddy Power’s Pistorius advert

5 March 2014

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has launched a formal investigation into an advert from bookmaker Paddy Power that offered betting odds on the outcome of the ongoing murder trial of Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius.

The athlete is currently on trial in South Africa accused of the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in February 2013.

Paddy Power is offering people the chance to bet on the outcome of the trial, with the advert in question featuring an offer for those who place a bet.

The advert appeared in national press, as well as on Paddy Power’s website and social media feeds.

The advert stated: “IT’S OSCAR TIME. MONEY BACK IF HE WALKS. WE WILL REFUND ALL LOSING BETS ON THE OSCAR PISTORIUS TRIAL IF HE IS FOUND NOT GUILTY.  PADDY POWER.”

The published advert also comes complete with a picture of Pistorius’s face on an Oscar statue, an image in relation to the Oscars film award ceremony that took place in the US at the weekend.

Complainants have objected that the advert is offensive and have made the ASA aware of their concerns.

In response, the ASA said such complaints provide it with an opportunity to continue to monitor public response to the advert, but said it would not respond directly.

ASA said it would publish its findings in due course on its website, allowing complainants to read the decision in full.

The regulator also said that as the advertiser is based in Ireland, the advert falls under the jurisdiction of the Advertising Standards Authority Ireland, which it understands is also investigating.

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