Paddy Power unfurl banner showing Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Micheal Martin in 'tender embrace'
Never one to miss an opportunity, bookmaker Paddy Power has unveiled its latest provocative ad campaign – this time taking swipe at Taoiseach Enda Kenny and opposition leader Micheal Martin ahead of the general election.
In the early hours of Friday morning, a team from the betting firm erected a mammoth poster on George’s Street in Dublin of the Fine Gael leader locked in “a tender embrace” with his election rival.
Emblazoned with the words “FG and FF to embrace coalition 13/8”, the giant poster is clearly invoking the work of artist Joe Caslin, who previously installed a large mural of two young men embracing in Dublin ahead of the same-sex marriage referendum.
The tongue in-cheek advertisement declares an end “to civil war politics”, says Paddy Power.
“Following a massive change in the Irish political landscape, a once unthinkable alliance between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil is now considered the most likely amongst bookmakers.”
The company spokesperson continued: “With the rise of Sinn Fein and the Independents, this is the political shift that could make punters some serious hay.”
Paddy Power has courted controversy in the past with its advertising campaigns, including one which offered customers money back if paralympian Oscar Pistorius was acquitted of the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Last October, the Advertising Standards of Ireland criticised the betting firm for a banner campaign that made light of the refugee crisis in Europe.
At the height of the problems in Calais, the company sent a lorry to the French port with a banner featuring Eoin Morgan, Raheem Sterling, Andy Murray, Manu Tuilagi and Mo Farah and the tagline: “Immigrants, Jump in the Back (But only if you’re good at sport).”
In July it was reported Roy Keane was to sue the bookmaker over a Braveheart billboard promotion which saw him mocked up as William Wallace.