Paddy Power's "Edgy" Immigrants Lorry Ad Was Offensive

By Gary Cutlack on at

The "edgy" marketing division of Paddy Power has earned its bosses another embarrassing public rebuke, with a joke about immigrants it whacked on a lorry that was driving through Calais deemed to have been on the wrong side of offensive, what with all the horrific deaths of children and that.

The quite amazingly insensitive advert featured the copy: "Immigrants, jump in the back! (but only if you’re good at sport)" a catchy slogan mocking the desperation of refugees that it accompanied with photos of border-crossing sports stars like Somalia-born Mo Farah and the Jamaican-born England footballer Raheem Sterling, plus, er, Andy Murray, who's Scottish and British and we're not sure why he would be there at all.

According to an unpublished ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland that's been leaked to the Guardian, the ad was indeed offensive on racial and diversity grounds, with the draft ruling saying: "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 that 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."

But it got a fair few retweets at the time so is probably deemed a success worth repeating. [Guardian]