Paddypower Gambles With Last Supper

This first review is straight from Pacific Highlander, one of my other sites, originally posted in October 2005. There was a spot of bother over billboards and bus advertising in Ireland in October 2005 in response to Paddy Power’s Last Supper picture. Paddy Power is an Irish gambling web site that promotes gambling linked with racing, soccer, sports, lotteries, online casinos and so on. They have a series of humorous advertising billboards that provide a gambling twist to otherwise ’straight’ scenarios, each with the saying, “There’s a place for fun and games”.

PaddyPower Poster using Last Supper

The PaddyPower Gallery 2005 Poster Campaign currently has eleven pictures from its advertising campaigns available for view: a (censored) naked man and a mosquito, a man choosing a magazine, two kids and a ‘floater’ in the bath, a bunny with a missing foot, Iain Duncan Smith’s occupation in 2010, an almost empty toilet roll, a couple embracing on a bench, two grannies crossing the road, and a baby choosing which breast to take.

The most recent two posters, in colour, are the ones that have copped the most flack. With the sideline “There’s a place for fun and games”, PaddyPower presented gamblers at The Last Supper and at a birth in a maternity delivery theatre. After complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland the Last Supper poster was removed from billboards and buses around Ireland. In their place PaddyPower put white posters with red censorship squares with a reference to the web site.

What do you think? An unthinkable piece of blasphemy? Or an example of an irreverent engagement between two icons of Irish popular culture? If nothing else, it’s a great conversation starter.


The Last Supper campaign was developed at Cawley Nea\TBWA, Dublin, by creative director Pearse McCaughey.

Filed under: Billboards, Paddypower, Print

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