Pistorius advert withdrawn after record number of complaints

Paddy Power's controversial Oscar Pistorius advert is to be withdrawn with immediate effect, after the advertising watchdog received an "unprecedented number of complaints" over it - more than 5,200 so far.

Paddy Power withdraws controversial Pistorius ad

Paddy Power's controversial Oscar Pistorius advert is to be withdrawn with immediate effect, after the Advertising Standards Authority received an "unprecedented number of complaints."

The ad, which offers "money back if he walks" or is found not guilty of killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp featured a photograph of Paralympic gold medallist Pistorius, mocked up as an Academy Award statuette.

A spokesman for the advertising watchdog said: "We consider the ad may be seriously prejudicial to the general public on the ground of the likely further serious and/or widespread offence 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."

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Paddy Power's Oscar Pistorius advert to be investigated

Paddy Power's Oscar Pistorius ad on their blog.
Paddy Power's Oscar Pistorius ad on their blog. Credit: Paddy Power.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has launched an investigation into an ad by bookmaker Paddy Power guaranteeing to refund losing bets if South African athlete Oscar Pistorius is acquitted of murder.

46 complaints were made to the ASA about the promotion, which appeared in newspapers and on social media.

A petition on Change.org has also been signed by more than 115,000 people.

A spokesperson for Paddy Power said: "Despite the ASA announcing their investigation, we stand by our decision to run this betting market and publicise it to punters."