A number of complaints have been lodged with the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) in relation to a Paddy Power television advertisement featuring former footballer Peter Crouch and his wife, which the complainants described as “offensive and sexist for men. None of the complaints were upheld by the ASAI.
Paddy Power’s advertisement for the Cheltenham Race Festival showed Crouch and his wife Abbey Clancy at home preparing for “a day at the races” while racing pundits commented on it using racing slang.
In one scene, the former England player’s wife throws boxer shorts at him as a running expert says Crouch ‘definitely hits the mark’ while another commentator says Crouch ‘doesn’t have the most attractive head , he’s a long-legged guy, with a robot stride, but he’s got an impressive instep for his size.
The second pundit later goes on to say that Crouch would be ‘unlikely to be wanted for breeding’, while the advert later features former Irish jockey Ruby Walsh saying ‘even the Irish would support this English banker’ .
The ASAI said it received nine complaints about the ad, none of which were upheld. He said a complaint said the ad made the game feel like a normal part of life and put humor into the game, making it look fun.
“Several complainants objected to the ad on the grounds that it was offensive and sexist to men,” ASAI said in its latest bulletin on Friday.
“The plaintiffs objected to the comparison of the man to a racehorse and the woman throwing panties at him, which they considered to be demeaning and sexist to men.
“Several complainants also referenced the comment in the ad. [in relation] to the male’s ability to reproduce and said that if the comment was made about a female it would be considered inappropriate and lacking in sensitivity.
“Suggestive and pejorative”
The plaintiffs also objected to the use of the word “banker” in the advertisement on the grounds that they considered it offensive “because it was suggestive and was used in a derogatory manner”.
“One complainant felt the term implied that Irish people were stupid and racist, while another felt it was racist towards English people,” the ASAI added.
Paddy Power said he seeks to promote “bold, insightful and impactful” advertising campaigns, as these are the mainstays of his brand.
Paddy Power thought it was safe to say that the Irish and British public recognized that his marketing campaigns contained a humorous and mischievous element, according to the ASAI.
“They said they never intended to offend the advertisement and they regretted if the plaintiffs were offended in this case,” the ASAI said.
“However, they did not believe that the offense was a rational response to the advertisement, nor that the advertisement was racist, sexist, socially irresponsible or that it was particularly appealing to children or that it made the game appear to be a normal activity. Part of life.”
The ASAI’s complaints committee said that while it appreciated the concerns raised by complainants, it considered the content of the advertisement to have been “staged in an ironic manner, with the main character clearly in the ‘joke’ “.
“Given the delivery, style and tone of the advertisement, the panel did not consider the advertisement to be contrary to the [ASAI] code for the reasons raised by the complainants,” he said.
The committee also did not consider the word “banker” to be used in a derogatory sense but rather “to refer to the character as being the ‘favorite'”.