May and Foster embrace in Paddy Power’s latest controversial ad

  • Advert from Paddy Power pokes fun at political leaders with a mock embrace featuring Theresa May
  • British press appear to distance themselves from featuring the advert

An advertising image produced by bookmaker Paddy Power has been given the cold shoulder by the British press, due to its highly controversial content.

The betting firm is currently offering a selection of odds on political events, including on the likely longevity of the current government. However, the recent campaign has been shelved after media outlets refused to print or show the picture.

Theresa May kissing advert

Punters invited to bet on DUP-Conservative alliance

The photoshopped image, featuring Prime Minister Theresa May and Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster, shows the pair in a mock embrace and about to lock lips for a passionate kiss. It mocks the forced relationship between Britain’s government and its new Northern Irish companions, and also passes comment on the anti-LGBT stance of the DUP.

The bet itself gives punters the chance for a payout on whether or not this parliamentary alliance will last until the end of the year. Paddy Power does not seem to have a lot of faith in the potential of the parliamentary alliance – odds of just 3/1 were offered on the partnership lasting until 2018.

Political betting is hot new trend

This new campaign by Paddy Power is nothing unusual. Bookmakers have been offering forms of political betting for many years. However, the recent trend towards political awareness means that people follow government affairs more closely, and an uncertain time in Parliament creates an opportunity for money-making by a savvy gambler.

Betting fans might have had a flutter on the recent general election. Before the bet was announced, the odds of Labour’s leader Jeremy Corbyn taking power were quoted at 200/1 from some outlets. By the end of the election campaign, Labour’s odds of winning had been slashed to 5/1 as bookmakers rushed to cover their bottom lines.

US gamblers might also have made a wager on the presidential elections, with some punters winning – and losing – thousands of dollars on the shock result.

Another banned advert for bookmaker

Paddy Power is no stranger to controversy, and the banned Tory-DUP advert is part of a long list of satirical campaigns which have landed the betting firm in hot water.

Among the adverts which have caused complaints and led to withdrawal are a campaign featuring old ladies crossing the road, and one which featured a game of blind football which viewers complained promoted ‘animal cruelty’.

The bookmaker gave a lighthearted statement in response to the advert’s prohibition, saying “Sadly it went almost as bad as Theresa May’s election campaign, after getting the heave-ho by not one, not two, but all of the British newspapers.”

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