Betting Firm's Oscar Pistorius Ad Draws U.K. Complaints

4:51 AM PST 03/05/2014 by Georg Szalai
AFP/Getty Images
Oscar Pistorius in court

UPDATED: The Paddy Power campaign shows the South African Paralympian's head superimposed on an Academy Award statuette, says "It's Oscar Time" and offers "money back if he walks."

LONDON – A U.K. advertising campaign by Irish betting firm Paddy Power that references the murder trial against South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius has drawn complaints and will be investigated by Britain's ad watchdog.

Paddy Power's print and online ads offer "money back if he walks" for bets on the trial. Britain's Advertising Standards Authority has received nearly 50 complaints within the campaign's first couple of days, the Guardian reported Wednesday.

The offer of refunds for losing bets if Pistorius is found not guilty of the murder of model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp has been criticized for being in bad taste.

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The newspaper campaign shows Pistorius' head superimposed on an Oscar statuette. The text reads: "It's Oscar Time. Money back if he walks. We will refund all losing bets on the Oscar Pistorius trial if he is found not guilty."

The ASA review will focus on whether Paddy Power breached ad industry rules and offended people, according to the Guardian.

The partly televised trial of double amputee Pistorius started on Monday. The athlete, known as the "Blade Runner," is charged with the premeditated murder of Steenkamp at his home in Pretoria. He has pleaded not guilty, claiming he shot her after mistaking her for an intruder.

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai
 

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