The UK Advertising Standards Authority has ordered retail and online betting firm Paddy Power to pull an ad revolving around the Oscar Pistorious trial.
The ruling came after the regulatory body received 5,200 complaints for the online and print spot, which was headlined with the words: "money back if he walks". The print ad offered more details saying: "It's Oscar Time. Money back if he walks. We will refund all losing bets on the Oscar Pistorius trial if he is found not guilty".
A statement released by the ASA on the matter read: "We consider the ad may be seriously prejudicial to the general public on the ground of the likely further serious and/or widespread offense it may cause. We are also concerned that the good reputation of the advertising industry may be further damaged by continued publication of this ad."
The ad was roundly panned for being distasteful, and saw online petitions formed to urge that Paddy Power pull the spot.
Paddy Power Chief Financial Officer Cormac McCarthy wouldn't apologize for running the spot, noting: “We’re offering a market on the outcome of a trial because people want to bet on it. We’ve had over a thousand people place bets on this. It is the story of the year - it’s the water cooler conversation, everybody is talking about it. We are just responding to demand by offering a price on that. That’s what we do.”
Pistorious is standing trial in South Africa for shooting and killing his girlfriend last year. Pistorious claims the shooting was an accident and that he thought he was shooting at an intruder. Pistorious grabbed headlines around the world when he became the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics.
He faces life in prison if convicted.