We won’t s**t in your coffee! Paddy Power’s joke at cafe chain’s expense

  • Cheeky bookmaker Paddy Power starts the day with ‘We won’t s**t in your coffee’ ad campaign
  • Controversial bookie finds yet another opportunity for publicity
  • BBC investigation found ‘faecal bacteria’ in ice used by Costa coffee chain

Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has never been the one to shy away from a controversial ad campaign whenever an opportunity presented itself.

Paddy Power's controversial high street betting shop advert. Picture: Paddy Power.
Paddy Power’s controversial high street betting shop advert. Picture: Paddy Power.

On the contrary, Paddy has had its fair share of dealing with the regulators over what they deemed to be ‘distasteful’ and ‘unfitting’.

So, it comes as little surprise that the bookie would take the recent unfortunate situation that the Costa coffee shop chain has found itself in and turn it into a brazen ad campaign.

Namely, a recent investigation by the BBC conducted at Costa, Starbucks and Cafe Nerro discovered traces of fecal bacteria in the ice used in their iced coffee drinks. The bacteria found is the same that occurs in human faeces.

It goes without saying that this is a PR hell for the stores as it is, but one Costa shop has had a special misfortune to be located right next to one of the Paddy Power shops.

“We won’t sh*t in your coffee”

Once the unpleasant news broke out, it didn’t take long for the UK bookmaker to come out with a poster saying: “Don’t gamble next door: We won’t s**t in your coffee,” accompanied by the fitting imagery.

Paddy Power's controversial high street betting shop advert. Picture: Paddy Power.
Will they get away with it? Probably. Picture: Paddy Power

The campaign promotes free coffee served at Paddy Power shops, which clearly serves to encourage punters to visit more often and play more. However, the bookie turned the tables on Costa, cautioning the visitors not to “gamble” at the neighboring coffee and play it safe with Paddy’s ‘faeces-free’ coffee.

Too good of an opportunity to pass

With their campaign, the bookie has once again demonstrated they aren’t afraid to take a controversial route. Paddy Power’s sense of humor may be questionable, but there is no denying the impact they make.

In the short PR to accompany their new marketing campaign, they emphasized that this was a “sh*ty” news to wake up to, but luckily, their marketing team was full of quality coffee, so they were quick to react. Instead of having to deal with the contaminated coffee, the bookie invited everyone to have a cup in one of their shops.

Response from coffee chains

Costa responded to the BBC’s findings by stating that it has updated its ice handling methods, and was in the process of rolling out new ice storage facilities.

Starbucks said it was investigating the claims, and that it took hygiene “very seriously”, while Cafe Nerro said through a spokesman that a thorough investigation would take place with appropriate action to follow.


Are Paddy Power the Kings of Mischief?

Their PR team knows how to take a calculated risk – it’s the adverts that push things to the limit that seem to have the most impact. This one is definitely on the cusp.

As usual, they’ll probably get away with it, and turn a few more heads in the process.

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