It’s almost hard for Americans to comprehend this but in many other Western style democracies, bookmaking is a legal activity. As a result, there are large bookmaking companies in the UK – like Ladbrokes and William Hill – and Paddy Power in Ireland.
Like many legitimate enterprises, these bookmaking companies advertise to find new customers. And Paddy Power, the largest bookmaking operation in Ireland, is in hot water for its latest television spot.
Ostensibly, the commercial encourages customers to use Paddy Power’s new mobile app to bet on upcoming horse races at Cheltenham. But Paddy Power chose an odd “comedic” twist for the creative direction of the commercial. They ask viewers to try and spot which ladies are indeed ladies and which are men. Yes, it’s a transgendered guessing game designed to promote a mobile betting app.
This isn’t the first time Paddy Power has started a controversy. You may remember when some sports book offered odds on whether President Obama would finish his first term. The bet was largely interpreted to be a bet on whether a president would be assassinated. Well, Paddy Power was that sports book. Paddy Power took the bet down following media outrage.
Oh, and Paddy Power had the most complained about television commercial in 2010. The spot featured a soccer match between blind players during which one blind fellow accidentally kicked a cat into a tree.