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Irish bookie Paddy Power plumbs the sporting depths with Ryder Cup stunt

Irish bookie Paddy Power (yes, there is a real Paddy Power) constantly tries to hijack sporting events. It tried to do it at the last UK Ryder Cup golf in Wales and did so again at last weekend’s Europe/US battle which the Europeans, amazingly, won.

This involved hiring planes to tow tweets from European golf fans to annoy the Americans. One of the tweets was ‘Mrs Dufner is hot,’ referring to US golfer Jason Dufner’s wife. How cool is that?

Golf is a funny old game; on the one hand it’s still ruled by a bunch of antidiluvian Scots snobs at the Royal & Ancient golf club who refuse to admit women members. On the other hand it has lots of American fans with big waistlines and loud trousers who bellow ‘in the hole’ when one of their players hits a ball.

So Paddy Power and agency Crispin Porter+Bogusky (American last time I looked) are surely entitled to wind up the Yanks?

No they’re not actually, or not like this anyway. This was a vulgar stunt that just demeans the game and reinforces the impression of Irish ‘marketers’ as taste-free chancers (think Michael O’Leary at Ryanair).

CP+B should have told the client to take a cold shower and return with an idea that didn’t insult everyone’s intelligence. But when did an agency ever do that?

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

One comment

  1. Yes it was a bit crass but to say that it ‘reinforces the impression of Irish ‘marketers’ as taste-free chancers’ is generalising a little too much. Rather than draw attention to this ‘stunt’ and give them the free advertising they crave, surely the best thing to do was ignore it, no?

    The companies you reference do these stunts and the media respond exactly as expected – just in the same way that anytime Virgin Atlantic have an event, Richard Branson will be pictured holding some scantily clad girl on the wing of an aircraft. These pictures will be in the papers the next day. Is that a stunt? Is that taste-free? Or is it even sexist?

    In reality after the way the competition played out, the lasting memory will be of the European win and not an advertising ploy.

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