During this year’s Champions League draw both Billy McNeil and Louis Figo had trouble opening the CL balls. Michael Owen struggled too if I remember correctly. Paddy Power’s response was to publicly mock the 73-year-old Celtic legend on twitter.
The Telegraph’s live coverage of the draw was more offensive in my opinion, and unlike Paddy Power they neither apologised nor withdrew their comments in response to the outcry from an offended Celtic support.
This imbalance is reflective of the fact that the Celtic supporters are valuable consumers to Paddy Power and but insignificant bystanders (if not worse) to the Telegraph. In this uneven response we are encouraged as gamblers and disregarded as broadsheet newspaper readers. I digress.
Yesterday Paddy Power cemented its reputation as a cabal of vile and opportunistic scumbags through a marketing strategy and publicity stunt which simultaneously trivializes a woman’s murder and pokes fun at a man’s disability:
This campaign reduces Reeva Steenkamp’s murder to a marketing gimmick and a joke. It endeavours to reframe the public gaze on a murder trial in slapstick, tongue-in-cheek, and ‘laddish’ way. Which isn’t exactly unexpected from these violently unfunny bastards, but it’s possibly a new low. The disability joke is pretty vile and seems to operate on the level that if a person with a disability does something wrong their disability is fair game for poking fun at. Although that implies that Paddy Power’s understanding of the Oscar Pistorius trial has a sense of justice factoring in, which isn’t reflected in the inverted commas around injustice:
Bet on him going down but he walks free, then you get your money back amidst what’s sure to be an international howl of news about ‘injustice’.
Maybe I just don’t have a sense of humour.
Other than the obvious points about the poor taste of this campaign, I think it’s worth saying that if the charges are changed then no one will be getting their money back and Paddy Power will be laughing all the way to the bank. I’d give evens on that happening personally.