Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Oscar Pistorius trial: Paddy Power 'sick' advert describing murder case as 'like OJ Simpson on steroids' to be withdrawn

Watchdog ruling following unprecedented number of complaints

The Paddy Power advert for betting on the Oscar Pistorius trial has prompted a number of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority
The Paddy Power advert for betting on the Oscar Pistorius trial has prompted a number of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority

A controversial advertisement from Irish bookmakers Paddy Power offering money back to punters if Oscar Pistorius "walks" away from killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp is to be withdrawn.

The ad - featuring a photograph of double amputee Olympic racer and Paralympic gold medallist Pistorius mocked up as an Academy Award statuette - is to be removed following a watchdog ruling.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it was withdrawing the ad - which featured in the national press - with "immediate effect"

"On the back of an unprecedented number of complaints, we are investigating whether the ad is offensive for trivialising the issues surrounding a murder trial, the death of a woman and disability; we are also challenging whether, in doing so, it brings the good reputation of advertising generally into dispute," a spokesman said.

"Following the complaints, ASA Chairman, Lord Smith, has taken the unusual step of directing the advertiser to withdraw the ad from circulation pending the outcome of the investigation.

"In exceptional circumstances ASA procedures under the Advertising Code allow us to take interim action and have ads amended or withdrawn pending investigation."

The bookies' ad had stated: "It's Oscar Time. Money Back If He Walks. We will refund all losing bets on the Oscar Pistorius trial if he is found not guilty."

Further reading

Oscar Pistorius trial: Paddy Power defends 'sick' betting advert, describing murder case as 'like OJ Simpson on steroids' 

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