'It's Oscar time': Tasteless UK Oscar ad breaks records for the most complaints ever

By admin
20 February 2015

A controversial advert in Britain with Oscar Pistorius as its theme has officially received more complaints than any other ad.

A controversial advert in Britain with Oscar Pistorius as its theme has officially received more complaints than any other ad, an advertising watchdog announced recently.

The advertisement, for Irish gambling website Paddy Power, appeared in March 2014 while Oscar’s murder trial was in progress.

Alongside am image of Oscar, the site promised readers they would get their money back “if he walks”, a word play not only on Oscar’s chances of being acquitted but also on him – as a double amputee – walking out of the court room.

UK advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received a record 5 525 complaints about the campaign. Unsurprisingly, the ad was immediately banned by the ASA.

“The ASA banned this national press ad that offered incentives to bet on the outcome of Oscar Pistorius’s murder trial," a spokesperson said at the time. "The ad caused serious offence by trivialising the issues surrounding a murder trial, the death of a woman and disability.”

Paddy Power have since admitted it may have been insensitive but stressed they didn’t want to cause any offence.

Former paralympian Oscar is currently in his fourth month behind bars, after being found guilty of culpable homicide for shooting dead Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013.

Sources: theguardian.com, mediaweek.co.uk, sbcnews.co.uk

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