Not one to shy away from controversy, Paddy Power has refuted claims that its promotion yesterday could in anyway be construed as being racist.
The allegations related to Paddy Power’s use of the phrase ‘always bet on black’ after the company paid out on Floyd Mayweather defeating Conor McGregor.
Defending the promotional slogan to SBC, Lee Price (Head of PR Paddy Power) said: “Always bet on black’, references a classic 90s movie quote, from Passenger 57. Like Wesley Snipes – who famously delivered the line – Floyd Mayweather is rightfully proud of his identity and, while the advert does reference his race, it does so in a manner which isn’t in any way derogatory or insulting.
“It’s also a betting-related pun which references a roulette wheel. Because we’re about gambling – get it? If people don’t like it that’s entirely their prerogative.
“But, most of all, it is a statement of fact. Floyd Mayweather is black and we’re suggesting you should bet on him because we believe that he’s going to win. We wouldn’t be paying out otherwise.”
The potentially offensive nature of the promotion was initially highlighted by the Daily Mail, however Price was keen to emphasise that the campaign had raised ‘plenty of debate’ and also got a lot of ‘positive feedback.’
Price said: “As an edgy brand we have to accept that some of our campaigns are bound to spark debate.
“We’re happy for the Mail to raise any issues that they feel may have arisen from our ads and are thankful to them for offering us the opportunity to address these issues and to clarify our position.”