Paddy Power Likens Old People to Zombies

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Oct/29/2018
  • Paddy Power comes under fire again for controversial ad
  • The UK bookmaker accused of ageism
  • One ad suggests rigor mortis might have already set in with one older man
  • Company accused of exploiting Africans, dwarfs and disabled in the past

The United Kingdom-based Paddy Power has come under fire for featuring an advertisement depicting senior citizens as zombies.

The Independent Age charity condemned the betting firm for creating “crass and utterly disrespectful” ads for a talk show about hit drama The Walking Dead, according to the Independent.

Ofcom, which regulates advertisements in the UK, said it has received numerous complaints from viewers.

One ad mocks a group of elderly people with the voiceover: “Spotting the undead at the local casino is a tricky business.”

Another shows an elderly man struggling to move. “He’s been cleaning that spot since 1904”.

And yet another spot suggests rigor mortis might have already set in with one elderly gent.

A middle-aged woman is also shown as the question is posed: “Is she a zombie?”

George McNamara, director of policy at Independent Age, said: “What may be funny to a room full of presumably young advertising staff is crass and utterly disrespectful. It’s time to be more creative and put these inaccurate stereotypes behind us.”

Paddy Power of course is no stranger to controversial advertising campaigns.

The bookmaker once teamed up with top jockey Frankie Dettori to sponsor a “sin bin” outside Our Lady with St. Etheldreda Church in Newmarket ahead of the Guineas Festival.

Another ad campaign involved Paddy Power erecting a Hollywood-like sign over a golf course.

Paddy Power has been accused of exploiting Africans, dwarfs and even the disabled.

In 2014, the company came under heavy fire for its “money back guarantee” on the Oscar Pistorius trial should he be acquitted.  Pistorius was the quadriplegic runner accused of killing his wife.

They added fuel to the fire by cross promoting wagering on the Academy Awards with an advertisement of Pistorius in the form of an Oscar statuette and the caption: “Oscar Time. Money back if he walks. We will refund all losing bets on the Oscar Pistorius trial if he is found not guilty”.

In regard to the latest ad, a spokesperson for Ofcom said four complaints had been made. “We are assessing these complaints against our broadcasting rules, before deciding whether or not to investigate.”

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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