The Twitter outrage machine fired into action on Monday afternoon when British bookmaker posted this tweet:
The “Kop” in this instance refers to a stand at soccer team Liverpool FC’s home ground, Anfield. Paddy Power sought to use it to create a pun, knowing it would also strike up images of recent reports of police violence against citizens in the US.
The response was unequivocally critical of Paddy Power’s choice of serious, sad subject matter for a silly tweet:
At the time of writing, Paddy Power is trending in the UK:
The tweet has not yet been deleted, but has been retweeted more than 1,000 times.
Business Insider contacted Paddy Power to ask whether there would be an apology, what is happening to the employee behind the tweet, and whether the bookmaker had any further comment to make about the subsequent outrage this has caused amongst Twitter users.
A spokesperson provided this comment: “It’s clearly an acerbic reference to recent police activity in the US. And obviously, no offence was meant.”
It’s worth remembering that Paddy Power’s marketing often toes the line of decency and taste in order for the brand to make a name for itself.
Last year the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority said the brand had “brought advertising into disrepute” after it ran a newspaper ad that offered to refund customer if double-amputee Paralympian sprinter Oscar Pistorius was found not guilty of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Here’s that ad:
And as The Drum reported last month, Paddy Power provoked outrage after it set up a stall staffed with various ethnic minority stereotypes and invited Chelsea FC fans to “Prove you’re not prejudiced” by posing for a picture outside Wembley Stadium.
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