Paddy Power Betfair has recently appointed Ken Robertson to the position of director of advertising. The appointment comes just a week after the company revealed they will cut 10 percent of their workforce, including 300 jobs from their Dublin offices and after their chief marketing officer, Gav Thompson, left the company.
Robertson has worked for the Irish bookmaker Paddy Power for 16 years holding a number of different positions within the company. Among other roles, he held the infamous ‘head of mischief’ title from 2011 to 2014. He will now take over running the 50-person advertising team and will oversee all European advertising for the merged company.
The announcement has come right on the heels of a close call with the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). Paddy Power was heavily criticised over an outdoor ad campaign they ran in January which mocked the injury-prone English Premier League Liverpool FC team. The sign, which read “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and in smaller print “Or Ever Again if You Play for KLOPP” also featured a red wheelchair with “Property of L. F. C.” printed on the back.
The ad played on the thirteen Liverpool FC players who had recently sustained leg injuries, which many commentators attributed to practices that the new club manager, Jurgen Klopp, insisted on; however the ASA received two complaints over the ads.
Paddy Power insisted that while the ad may have been “distasteful,” it was a joke that Liverpudlians would understand. The ASA agreed stating that the connection between the wheelchair and playing for Klopp was “clearly and immediately connected” and that “LFC players and their current injuries, rather than those with a disability, were the target of the humour.”