I’d like to start off by saying that I was a little disappointed when I found out that they didn’t actually kick a cat in the making of this advert. I don’t like cats. They’re sneaky and selfish and one time I stayed in a friend’s house and woke up in the middle of the night with a kitten sitting on my face. Freaked me right out. They do bounce surprisingly well though.
However, apparently our light-hearted television advertisement depicting a blind footballer kicking a cat received 1,313 complaints to the ASA last year. We’re not entirely sure what they have to complain about. Is it because they think we’re taking the piss out of the blind? Because many of the actors who took part were blind or partially sighted and they all saw the funny side of it. No pun intended. But if there was they’d see the humour in that too.
Maybe it’s the treatment of the cat. See above for my personal views on this matter but surely no one thinks we actually kicked a real live cat to make an ad. You probably shouldn’t be allowed on a computer if you do. There was even a vet on location in case the cat swallowed a hair ball.
Not just has the ad brought to light the fact that the blind and partially-sighted play football, something which few people would have been aware of beforehand, we’d also like to think it’s broken down a few of those pity barriers. What is a pity barrier you may ask? Well when you look at someone and all you see is their disability or you feel pity for them because you think they are somehow less than they should be, that’s putting up a barrier which prevents you from seeing that person for who they are. Their disability included. We don’t do that here at Paddy Power and though it may court controversy at times we are prepared to take a few risks if it opens up some minds. And gets us mentioned in the papers.