"It's Oscar Time": Paddy Power Respond To Controversial Oscar Pistorius Betting Campaign
Paddy Power has responded to the outrage over a recent advertising campaign offering bets on the Oscar Pistorius murder trial.
An online petition for the poster that had been tied into the 2014 Academy Award theme shows Pistorius’ face emblazoned on the gold statuette.
Various organisations against domestic violence campaigned for the advert to be pulled and urged people to lodge complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.
In a blogpost Paddy Power said: "Global media attention, bar-stool conversation and pillow talk will shift from the Oscars on Sunday night to Oscar on Monday when the Blade Runner straps on his prosthetic limbs for the long walk to the high court."
Paddy Power also promoted a "money back if he walks" offer.
This morning on RTÉ's Liveline, the company defended the action to let bets be placed on the trial, with over 700 bids already taken.
“This is the biggest profile trial that has ever been. It’s the only topic of conversation around the world,” Mr Power explained on-air.
"It’s to provide customers with the opportunity to bet on something that everyone is talking to."
Power also suggested that it was "not going to be a money spinner" for the company but a reflection on what the public believes to be true.
"Our bet is a reflection of where public opinion is on this, much like an opinion poll... the betting will be a reflection of what people think."
Power added: "We’re not betting on murder here. We’re betting on the outcome of a trial. The fact is people are wondering if he’ll be found guilty or not."
The trial of the 27-year-old double amputee got underway today, with Pistorius pleading not guilty to the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.