London Underground censors bookies bingo ads

Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has run into trouble with its latest ad campaign. Officials at London Underground have banned the ad – which shows a man posed as if breastfeeding a baby and accompanied by the strapline ‘where have all the women gone’ – saying it has ‘potential to offend public decency’.

The bookie is said to be surprised at the decision, seeing its ads as nothing more than a bit of fun. This isn’t the first time Paddy Power’s ads have run into trouble – back in January 2006 an ad called “The last supper” which depicted the biblical scene with ‘disciples’ seated round a casino table was banned by the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) and in 2001 a scene showing betting odds over the heads of some old ladies trying to cross a road as cars approached them was also banned – the ASA had received over 50 complaints about the ad.

Other Paddy Power ads that have offended but were not censured included one showing two teenagers in school uniforms kissing on a park bench and betting odds were displayed on the girl’s chest as ‘Evens’ and on her thigh as “2/1” and one showing two babies in a bath along with a piece of faeces – again the odds were displayed. More HERE
Non-broadcast advertising rules are governed through the ASA by the CAP Code – this provides that marketing materials should not contain anything that is likely to cause offence – Section 5 provides:
5.1 Marketing communications should contain nothing that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Particular care should be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability. Compliance with the Code will be judged on the context, medium, audience, product and prevailing standards of decency.
5.2 Marketing communications may be distasteful without necessarily conflicting with 5.1 above. Marketers are urged to consider public sensitivities before using potentially offensive material.
5.3 The fact that a particular product is offensive to some people is not sufficient grounds for objecting to a marketing communication for it.

CAP Code