Paddy Power offends with transgender ladies and now 'Chavs' ads

Advertising authorities have prevented Paddy Power from airing its 'Chavs' ad. The voiceover states "enjoy a chav-free Cheltenham courtesy of Paddy Power, the classy mobile app for civilised people and the Irish".

Paddy Power, the Irish bookmaker has continued to inflame the authorities with the launch of its newest ad 'Chavs' as part of its 'We Hear You!' campaign.

The Chavs ad was prevented from being shown on TV in the UK. The advert, where chavs are tranquilised with darts to stop them spoiling the race day at Cheltenham is still available to view on YouTube.

The voice over at the end of the clip states "you can enjoy a chav-free Cheltenham courtesy of Paddy Power, the classy mobile app for civilised people and the Irish".

Credit: Paddy Power Facebook

Credit: Paddy Power Facebook

Paddy Powers last TV ad, Ladies Day, received over 470 complaints.  The TV ad featured several transgender ladies. Viewers were asked to 'Spot the 'Stallions' (trans women) from the 'Mares' ('real' women)'.

The British TV advertising regulator pulled the advert after four days on air after Channel 4, ESPN and BSkyB refused to show the ad after previously agreeing to the script.

Paddy Power reported on its blog:

'This is especially frustrating given the commercial was already pre-approved by British television advertising clearance body Clearcast, just one week ago, who then considered the humour in the advert, while not to everyone’s taste, fell short of causing offence.'

It also noted that the ad had 'more likes than dislikes'. YouTube comments for the ad however have been disabled.

Attention seeking

Crispin Porter + Bogusky, who is responsible for creating this ad campaign, might be delighted with all the attention the series of ads have been getting. Its Chav ad was nominated for pick of the week last week in Campaign.

These ads seem to do exactly what they are designed to do. They get attention. They get people talking about the ad. The brand gets headlines, copy and comments.

Mr Paddy Power, the owner of the brand was 'more than happy to get on the phone and portray this as 'nothing more than a row over competing standards of humour'.  All PR is good PR right?

But perhaps offending our social sensibilities by ridiculing parts of the community is a step too far.  Hopefully this will actually achieve something for transgender people who are sick of being the butt of jokes -- even if the ad is supposed to be 'just a bit of fun'

Perhaps chavs are proud to be chavs-- and should go to the races if they want to go.  After all, revenue is revenue -- whoever happens to be spending it.

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