Home News Sportsbook cancels advert starring Boris Johnson

Sportsbook cancels advert starring Boris Johnson

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The script for the high-profile ad has been signed and stars have been hired, with the creative team at Irish sportsbook Paddy Power confident they have a winner ahead of the big sporting summer.

Even with his back turned, even before the big reveal, the man wearing the No. 10 England football shirt is instantly recognisable by his physique and his thick head of light hair: Boris Johnson.

“I told you I would bring us back to Europe,” the script requires Johnson to say, a glib but untrue quip from a man who helped lead the Brexit campaign that led to Britain’s exit from the European Union.

But the ad will never air.

Dublin-based Paddy Power was forced to scrap the planned video – which was to have been the cornerstone of its advertising campaign ahead of a busy summer including the European football championships and the Paris Olympics – after a backlash from its UK staff.

Two people familiar with the event and its conclusion confirmed the decision. They said the ad script had been provided to Mr Johnson. A spokesman for Johnson did not respond to a request for comment.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the company’s internal decisions and because of the sensitivity of the company’s alliance with Johnson.Johnson’s Conservative Party won a majority in the 2019 national election, but his tenure has been marked by a series of His career as prime minister was mired in scandal.

According to the above-mentioned people, Paddy Power staff in the UK said that they were reluctant to promote a controversial figure like Johnson, especially using language that mocked Brexit, because the Brexit issue has polarized the UK and damaged its relations with countries on the European continent.

Flutter Entertainment, Paddy Power’s parent company, said in a statement to The New York Times: “We have been talking to Boris Johnson’s team about a number of opportunities, one of which is the idea of ​​a cameo role in a TV advert.”

The company confirmed Johnson’s role in the Euro 2024 campaign, which is due to air in the coming weeks, has been dropped but did not reveal why.

The company added: “We still hope to work together in the near future.”

British tabloid The Sun on Sunday Break the news Earlier this month it emerged that Mr Johnson will feature in Paddy Power’s Euro 2024 campaign.

Paddy Power, a bookmaker known for its publicity stunts, has never been afraid to push the boundaries with ads that tend to attract a lot of attention, although not all of them are positive. In 2010, the company launched an ad campaign featuring a blind football player kick the cat Received hundreds of complaints (Paddy Power explain The ad “showed an unlikely, even ridiculous, action” and no cat was harmed).

Two years later, the company paid approx. $100,000 Acted against European football’s governing body UEFA on behalf of a Danish football player who promoted the brand on his underwear after scoring a goal at UEFA Euro 2012. The promotion violated rules prohibiting players from displaying advertising on clothing other than football jerseys.

2020 issue an apology for using “derogatory and offensive” language after sharing a video of a football fan making homophobic comments on social media.

For some staff in Paddy Power’s London office, including Johnson was clearly a step too far.

The former Tory leader’s partnership with Paddy Power contrasts with some of the views on gambling espoused by his government. During his tenure as prime minister, the government called on the Football Association Canceling multi-million dollar sponsorship deal Partner with a reputable bookmaker.

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