A month has passed since the day the great fight between Mayweather and McGregor took place in Las Vegas. But Paddy Power still paying for its choice to use the phrase “always bet on black” in the build up to the boxer’s recent fight. The UK Advertising Standards Agency censured the Irish bookmaker for its choice of words. As a result the British operator received 9 complaints by ASA. The latter stated that the headline contained an obvious reference to Floyd Mayweather’s race. And as such was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.
Although the phrase indeed contained a racial meaning, the popular boxer took the decision to wear Paddy Power pants, which had the slogan on them, at the Las Vegas weigh in. For that incident, the directors of the operator stated. “The line was approved by Mayweather who saw it as a humorous dig at his rival before the fight. The wording was, in fact, branded onto Mayweather’s shorts for the weigh-in, at the request of the American fighter’s agents.”.
In addition, from their side, the Paddy Power governance dismissed the racial overtones of the advertisement. They told that it firstly was a roulette reference, as well as a film quotation from the 1992 film Passenger 57. It was the same quoted by its lead actor Wesley Snipes. Of course, ASA was far from convinced from this argument. In fact they stated that many readers of the newspapers involved would be unfamiliar with the film’s quote.
Just a couple days ago, ASA in its ruling admitted that the advertisement was not a negative statement concerning Floyd Mayweather’s race especially given the boxer’s approval of the campaign. On the other hand though, the advertisement broke the code rule 4.1, stating. “We considered that readers would nevertheless be offended by the invitation to always bet on the outcome of a boxing match based on a boxer’s race, and the message that the boxing match was a fight between two different races. For those reasons, we concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence on the grounds of race.”