At twenty of their betting shops, ten in Ireland and ten in the UK, they’d given their signs a temporary makeover with them rebranded as Pelepower. It took just hours for New York agency, Legends 10, who are responsible for Pele’s name and image rights, to issue Paddy Power with, what has been called, an “extremely aggressive” cease and desist letter.
The signs were taken down days later with an official response in the typical style for which they are now famed. They said how they’d “wanted to give people a lift for the World Cup…unfortunately our plans fell flat…we are a bit deflated”, in a not-so-subtle reference to Pele’s commercial endorsement of Viagra.
Never one to be out of the spotlight for long this story comes shortly after Paddys hit the headlines for a dramatic PR stunt in which it appeared, from an aerial photo, that they’d cut down sections of the Brazilian rainforest to spell ‘C’mon England PP’.
This was of course fabricated and, following another photoshop session and a lot of social media outrage, it turned out to be faked with a new image featuring the caption ‘We didn’t give the rainforest a Brazilian’. It was in fact part of the campaign aimed at stopping deforestation, the bookmaker was commended for its efforts by Greenpeace as #SaveTheRainforest started trending on Twitter.