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Paddy Power Ad Banned For Prioritizing Gambling Above Family

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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has recently kicked out a Paddy Power ad after it was found to be “encouraging harmful gambling behavior.” 

Just so you know, Paddy Power ( is an online betting (or gambling) platform.

A scene from the video commercial shows a young man in a living room gambling on Paddy Power’s ‘Wonder Wheel’ game via his smartphone while his family is present. He takes a brief break from his phone to thank his partner’s mother for bringing him a drink before returning to gambling on his phone. 

A voice-over says: “With Paddy Wonder Wheel, you receive a free spin with a chance to win cash rewards every single day.” The man’s partner asks him: ” Do you think I will end up looking like my mum?” He replies while looking at his phone, “I hope so,”  before appearing to realize what he said was inappropriate. The voice-over then concludes; “So no matter how badly you stuff it up, you’ll always get another chance with Paddy Power games.”

There were complaints that the advertisement depicted someone so preoccupied with gambling that they made an inappropriate remark in the conversation, and that it portrayed gambling as taking precedence in life and thus was irresponsible. 

Paddy Power refuted the claims, saying the ad implied dedication to family life by portraying the scene of a traditional family setting in which a young man had dutifully gone to his girlfriend’s parent’s house for Sunday lunch. 


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The image also showed that the family had finished their lunch and were now free to do their own thing after everyone has retired to the living room. They said this was indicated by the mother serving coffee, the father doing a crossword, and the young man playing a game on his phone while he sat next to his girlfriend on the sofa. It was noted that the man had not left the room to play the game alone or tried to hide it from his girlfriend. 

Paddy Power stated that they did not believe the sentence “So no matter how badly you stuff it up, you’ll always get another chance with Paddy Power games” encouraged repeated gambling in the face of loss. 

It said that the statement should be viewed in the context of the entire ad, which is referred to the fact that the young man had “stuffed it up” by making a comment to his girlfriend about her mother, and that line explicitly referenced a real-life example of stuffing up and did not refer to losing a bet. 

In its verdict, The ASA acknowledged the family members were enjoying activities after lunch, and while the young man’s focus throughout the ad was generally directed toward the screen of his phone,  he did not look up to thank his girlfriend’s mother for making him coffee before returning to his game. 

However, it considered the young man then became so engrossed in his gambling game that he made an unintentional and humiliating remark out loud, which was clearly not his intent and was clearly caused by his distraction and investment in the gambling game. It was reported that the young man instantly realized he had made a mistake and apologized to his girlfriend, but that moment was brief and he quickly returned to his phone to continue the gambling game and celebrate a win, while his girlfriend remained angry and embarrassed. 

Although the ASA acknowledged that it was a brief moment, it found that the commercial depicted gambling as taking priority in life over the family since most viewers would understand that distraction caused by gambling had caused an embarrassing error at a family gathering. 

According to the CAP and BCAP Codes, gambling marketing communications or advertisements must not depict, condone, or encouraged gambling conduct that is socially irresponsible or could result in financial, social, or emotional harm.

The CAP and BCAP’s Advertising Codes on Gambling Advertising: Responsibility and Problem Gambling also states that marketers should take care to avoid trivializing gambling and avoid the impression that the decision to gamble should be taken lightly, for example by not encouraging repetitive participation. 

As a result, the ad will not be repeated in its current form. 

It’s not the first time the ASA has slammed a Paddy Power commercial. In March, a radio commercial was found to be deceptive due to a muddled portrayal of significant circumstances. 

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