Paddy Power Pushes Boundaries of Bad Taste With Parody of Lion-Killing Dentist

Trigger-Happy American Shoots National Animals in Latest Controversial Spot

Published On
Sep 24, 2015

Editor's Pick

Irish betting company Paddy Power is notorious for its controversial advertising -- it's previously featured Jesus, a "chav tranquiliser" and a blind footballer kicking a cat into a tree (the latter being the most complained about U.K. ad of 2010.) But with its new Rugby World Cup commercial it really plumbs the depths of bad taste.

The campaign, by newly-appointed, so-called "brand mischief" agency We Are Pi, is called "Big Game Hunter" and parodies Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer, killer of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe.

In the ad, a grinning actor with whitened teeth introduces himself as "an American dentist" and proceeds to get trigger happy shooting various wild animals. The idea is that he predicts the outcome of games by shooting down a team's national icon (for example a lamb for Wales, a bulldog for England and a kangaroo for Australia). A new spot will appear on social media before each game in the tournament.