Controversial Paddy Power immigrant billboard banned in Ireland

Controversial Paddy Power immigrant billboard banned in Ireland

A CONTROVERSIAL advertisement from Irish bookies Paddy Power has officially been banned in Ireland. 

The advert was found to have breached regulations from advertising watchdog Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI).

Having first appeared during the summer, at the height of the migrant crisis in Calais, the ad featured pictures of sports stars Andy Murray, Raheem Sterling, Mo Farah, Manu Tualigi, and Eoin Morgan on a truck side.

The caption read: "Immigrants, jump in the back! (but only if you’re good at sport)"

Paddy Power was widely criticised for the advertisement, which was sent to the port at Calais where thousands of immigrants were attempting to gain entry to Britain.

In a statement at the time, the bookies said it never meant to cause offence.

But now it is banned from being used in Ireland again.

"In this case the committee accepted that while the majority of Paddy Power followers on social media and Twitter would probably be aware of their ‘edgy’ sense of humour, it was nevertheless 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,” said the ASAI.

Paddy Power, in response to the criticism surrounding the advert, said it was “edgy, humorous, and engaging” and never intended it to cause offence.

It is not the first time the bookmaker has come under fire for its controversial ads.

Earlier this week, it took a jibe at Scottish football fans after Ireland's success in securing a spot at the Euro 2016 football championships - and the bookies landed itself in hot water over a Roy Keane billboard last summer.