Thursday september 10,2015 : A.S.A. CLEARS PADDY POWER BLATTER ADVERT
Use of asterisked expletive unlikely to have caused offence.
The positioning and dominant audience of a Paddy Power advert urging controversial FIFA chief Sepp Blatter to "F**k Off Already" was accepted by the UK Advertising Standards Authority as reasonable grounds for ruling that the ad. was not in breach of rules regarding public offence this week.
Published earlier this year during the furore over corruption at FIFA and Blatter's re-election campaign, the advert appeared in the Sport section of The Guardian newspaper and triggered a single complaint to the ASA.
Paddy Power justified the material, pointing out that it was light-hearted; that asterisks were used to lessen the severity of the comment and that the tenor and style of the material were in keeping with the betting company's distinctive voice and brand.
After investigating the matter, the Authority ruled:
“We noted that the ad appeared in the Sport section of the Guardian, which we understood had an adult readership and frequently contained swear words.
“We considered that readers of that section were likely to understand that the ad was intended to be a light hearted comment on the ongoing allegations of corruption within FIFA, and in particular the controversy surrounding Sepp Blatter’s tenure as FIFA president. In that context, we considered the use of “F**K” was unlikely to cause offence to readers.”