How funny is Paddy Power’s banned Rhodri Giggs advert?

In a bid to outdo each other in an increasingly competitive market, online casino sites like Paddy Power have developed quite the reputation for provocative advertising in recent years. The Irish bookmaker, in particular, has garnered a reputation for unleashing some incredibly risqué advertising on us. Be it ‘Brexit’ related jokes or the Rhodri Giggs tragedy, Paddy Power has certainly been in the spotlight as of late!

The background

The advertisement in question was intended to promote Paddy Power’s new rewards scheme. The scheme does away with the traditional loyalty schemes that online betting sites have relied on and introduces a new system of rewards for repeat customers.

This was the context for the ad which featured Rhodri Giggs — the brother of renowned Wales and Manchester United footballer, Ryan Giggs — proclaiming that: “Loyalty’s Dead: Live for Rewards.” The reference behind this relates to a somewhat tragic story involving Rhodri and Ryan, in which it was recently revealed that Ryan had been cheating on his own wife with Rhodri’s wife. This was widely reported in the media and caused quite the stir online and in the newspapers.

The response

The initial response to the advert being unveiled was mixed. While some very much saw the funny side of things, many others didn’t. In fact, the response was so strong that, after a number of complaints made to the advertising authorities, the advert was pulled from television. Once word got out that it had been banned, thousands flocked to the internet to catch a glimpse of this supposedly morally corrupt advert! Discussion of the advert was very mixed, however, with the moralistic people among us proclaiming that it made light of the sacred institution of marriage, with others viewing it as nothing more than a hilarious bit of ‘banter.’

However, when it comes to the public’s attention, controversy drives website visitors and Facebook shares. Which is something Paddy Power know all too well. Over the years, the popular bookmaker has produced several adverts, which border on the risqué side. Paddy Power have even set a trend for other sportsbook and casinos to push the envelope. Fellow sportsbook William Hill have also hit the headlines for risky campaigns.

How funny was it?

Although the response to the advert was incredibly swift, with the ASA calling for it to be pulled from TVs almost immediately, many people were quick to speak up in support of the advert. Viewers online, in particular, saw the lighter side of things and didn’t take things so seriously. Although marriage is sacred to a lot of people, and we shouldn’t be quick to make light of it with jibes like this, we personally can’t help but see the funny side of the tongue-in-cheek references to what happened.

In fact, in many respects, it was refreshing to see Rhodri Giggs completely owning the situation by turning it into a joke — and a not so veiled comeback at his brother at the same time. As such, you could argue that by making light of the whole situation around this, Rhodri was able to move on and get the better of the situation, and you can’t help but give him props for that. Whether you personally find the advert funny will rely entirely on your own moral compass; are jokes about extra-marital affairs completely off the table, or is all fair when it comes to love, war and advertising?

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