Internet betting group Paddy Power is known for their controversial ad campaigns. The group struck again this week when they were found to be airing a campaign that shows a man spraypainting an England flag on a sleeping polar bear.
The ad campaign consists of television, print, and internet ads and features a mischievous man spraypainting the bear with the flag as well as Paddy Power branding. The print version showing up in newspapers also has the tagline "England 'til I dye".
Paddy Power has a history of putting out ads meant to elicit shock. The company had a spot for the 2014 World Cup where it appeared that they tore down a spot of rainforest to urge England on. The company seems to enjoy the publicity these spots garner, and it doesn't appear that they will be dropping the strategy anytime soon.
A statement by Paddy Power on the topic revealed: "What we know so far is that an unidentified individual, speaking in Russian, seems to have spray painted a polar bear not just with the Cross of St George, beloved by England football fans, but also with Paddy Power branding.
"That this is mischievous in the extreme, is to state the obvious.
"We cannot make any further comment until we get to the bottom of this."
Later on a company executive stressed that the bear wasn't harmed during the creation of the spot.