ASA forces Paddy Power to modify Rhodri Giggs loyalty advert

The UK Advertising Standards Association (ASA) has upheld five complaints made against Paddy Power’s ‘Rewards Club’ advertisement featuring Rhodri Giggs, the older brother of former Manchester United and Wales footballer Ryan Giggs.

Complaints were sanctioned against the advert, which was broadcast last February, as five viewers claimed that the advert ‘glamourised gambling’ by suggesting that it can lead to a better lifestyle.

Promoting the bookmaker’s new Rewards Club loyalty programme, Paddy Power ‘Ambassador’ Rhodri Giggs is seen drinking champagne and driving a sports car which has ‘Thanks Paddy’ embedded on its bodywork.

Responding to the complaints, Paddy Power marketing details that at no point during the advert does Rhodri Giggs participate in gambling/betting.

Furthermore, Paddy Power underlines that Rhodri Giggs is promoting a loyalty programme over standard betting products, odds or markets promoted by bookmakers.

In its response, Paddy Power maintains that the ‘sports car’ is used as a prop to emphasise customer loyalty as the key attribute of its Rewards Club messaging.

Following a review, ASA has upheld the complaints made against the advert, detailing in its assessment that the advert implies that ‘viewers should follow Rhodri Giggs example’.  

“We considered that created the impression that Rhodri was no longer defined by the alleged affair and that he had moved past his “loyalty” and was now reaping the rewards, both financially and in terms of his own self-image,” said ASA.

“The ad implied viewers should follow his example, and that their route to doing so was joining Paddy Power’s Rewards Club. For that reason, we considered the ad implied gambling was a way to achieve financial security and improved self-image, and we concluded the ad was irresponsible.”

The watchdog has therefore judged the advert to have breached its ‘BCAP Code Rules’ on responsible advertising with regards to gambling products. ASA has issued no fine to Paddy Power, but has enforced that the bookmaker can not show the advert again in its original format.

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