Paddy Power opens up over World Cup ad

8 June 2018

Paddy Power has responded to criticism of its new World Cup advert, revealing that the polar bear featured was in fact not spray-painted.

Launched this week, the multi-channel ad features images of a Russian-speaking man spray-painting an England flag and Paddy Power branding on the side of a sleeping polar bear.

After the ad was featured in UK newspaper Metro, Paddy Power was criticised on Twitter, with some user branding the campaign as ‘awful’ and ‘offensive’.

However, Paddy Power has now revealed the bear was not decorated and that it worked with visual effects company Framestore to make the ad look as realistic as possible.

In addition, the bookmaker said the polar bear featured in the ad is a privately owned animal called Agee.

Paddy Power flew a film crew out to Canada where Agee lives with owner Mark Dumas to shoot the initial scene, before travelling back to the UK to bring the spray-painting effects to life with Framestore.

The bookmaker, known for its mischievous ad campaigns, admitted to wanting to “create some carnage”, but has also committed to donating a five-figure sum to Polar Bears International.

Paddy Power said that the organisation will use the funds to support a “ground-breaking” research project into Russian polar bears in order to help scientists have a better understanding of how bears in these areas are coping with climate change.

Related article: Paddy Power draws criticism over World Cup ad