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Paddy Power Cause Controversy In Their Latest PR Stunt

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Paddy Power are not known for being shrinking violets when it comes to their marketing. Year upon year they continue to pull controversial PR stunts and release risky tv, print and online advertising content – with varying results.

The people behind their campaigns are obviously still of the belief that there is no such thing as bad publicity, however looking at the number of times their adverts have been complained about and subsequently banned from television - surely their reputation must be taking a bit of hit?

As the French city of Calais and the roads of Southern England are at a standstill due to the ferry workers strike, thousands of immigrants have camped at the port in the hopes of finding their way onto a lorry and entering the UK illegally. Paddy Power have chosen to use this situation as the centre of their most recent controversial stunt – driving a huge lorry displaying the message “Immigrants jump in the back! (But only if your good at sport)” along with images of some of the UK’s most prominent sporting heroes, implying that they are not actually British and that the UK is unable to produce its own sporting talent. Take from that what you will.

In this day and age the fight for publicity is no longer purely for column inches as social media has taken over how people communicate and consume information. Although your content may be shocking and interesting enough to be getting shared, is it for the right reasons and more importantly is it going to do your brand more harm than good?

Over the past 15 years, Kommando has harvested approximately £500 million in free media exposure for clients, giving us the experience to recommend that there is definitely something to be said for trying to strike the finely tuned balance between generating the desired media attention without having a detrimental effect on your brand.

Experiential campaigns, guerrilla marketing and ambient advertising all have the potential to generate significant PR, however press coverage for the sake of press coverage doesn’t really do anyone any good. Generating positive word of mouth around your brand and campaign messages is the real aim of the game, so “someone should really update Paddy Power that stunt marketing in 2015 is a slightly more refined art.” – Mark Evans, CEO.

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