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Betting Firm's Culpable Homicide Joke Voted 2014's Worst Advert

By Gary Cutlack on at

Controversy-skirting, 1990s-lad-humour-based betting chain Paddy Power has picked up a slightly dubious honour, thanks to its joke about Oscar Pistorious walking away from his murder charge receiving a whopping 5,525 complaints.

The ad, which offered gamblers the chance to get their "money back if he walks" by placing a bet on the outcome of the disable athlete's murder trial, topped the complaint charts for 2014. It was so off the chart bonkers it was ordered to be pulled immediately by the Advertising Standards Authority last year.

The second most complained about ad of 2014 was Booking.com's swearing-packed clip that had people thinking "booking" was the new obscenity the kids were all using. 1,768 complained about it, which is a bit silly as it's really quite amusing.

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The third most -hated advert of 2014 was one by The Sun newspaper, which said readers could win a "date with a Page 3 girl" by performing well in a fantasy football league. "We might even let you pick which one," boasted the roguish copy that triggered 1,711 complaints to the ASA.

The terrible Sainsbury's Christmas ad was fourth, with only 823 people voicing their dislike of the schmaltzy repackaging of WWI as a chocolate commercial. [ASA via Guardian]