Paddy Power has been in the news again this week, which is just how the brand likes it. This time it was down to a simple tweet rather than a stunt, but it was a tweet that got coverage across a raft of media outlets as well as provoking considerable ire on social media, something that the bookmaker is more than happy to embrace.
The tweet in question was aimed at encouraging betting on the football match between Liverpool and Newcastle that was taking place on Monday evening. It read:
“Newcastle have suffered more Kop beatings over the last 20 years than an unarmed African-American male” before linking to a Paddy Power blog post.
This immediately sparked condemnation, as the Twitterati were quick to denounce the bookmaker’s crass insensitivity. How could they refer to the deaths of innocent people in a bid to generate publicity? They should be ashamed! Paddy Power immediately expressed contrition, removing the tweet and apologising for any offence caused.
Did they hell.
The ‘mischief making department’ has got balls of steel and really couldn’t care less about who it offends. The outraged were quick to reply to the tweet, with the majority stating the belief that whoever had posted it would be sacked. However the post wasn’t deleted and I imagine it was more of a case of high five rather than P45 in the office. It’s all about generating headlines and the tweet certainly did that.
If you look past the fact that the tweet is playing on a number of recent African-American deaths as a result of police brutality, then the word play is actually quite witty. With the Kop reference alluding to both the famous Anfield stand and the police, I’m sure many of the bookmaker’s laddish target audience laughed at its audacity rather than denounced its callousness.
Paddy Power really doesn’t care. As long as its name is out there and it’s the foremost bookmaker’s name when it comes to wanting to place a bet, the happier it will be.