A handful of the English Rugby Fans are venting fire over an ad by Paddy Power that they put up during the sixth nation tournament in February and March of 2019.
It could be that they were irked because the Welsh team outshone their rivals for the first time in six years. They beat Ireland during the final game. Regardless, many complaints were filed with the Irish Advertising Standards (ASAI) over an allegedly racist advert.
The company that ran the advert posted it in the Irish Times, the Star, as well as on their social media pages. It read “Dear England, Sorry for the last two years of pain, suffering, and humiliation. Another 798 and we’ll be even”.
Historians will be quick to point out the tongue-in-check lingo in the advert. It refers to about eight centuries that Ireland has been under the Brits. This advert did not sit well with some people, who found it offensive, racist even.
However, Paddy Power sees it differently. They do not think it is as racist; instead, a light-hearted joke that is common among sportsmen and women.
About six complaints have been lodged with the ASAI. These may be complaints from overly sensitive persons who are not able to take rejection in stride. However, the ASAI felt it had to come in and solve this issue anyway. It issued Paddy Power a gentle fine and admonished the people directly involved in running the advert.
Paddy Power is no stranger to controversy. It has come under fire in the past for running controversial adverts, although complaints have often been lodged by persons with nothing else to do. For instance, in 2010, they ran an advert involving a blind person kicking a cat, but it only managed 400 complaints. As is with the current one, it was meant to be satirical, and it was a clear demonstration that some people have a hard time differentiating between fiction and reality.
Some of the complains lodge against the company have had merit. For instance, after Obama was elected, the company had people bet on whether he would be assassinated while in office. This did not bode well with everyone, as the assassination of a world leader must never be the subject of a wager.