Paddy Power's latest advertising mischief had environmentalists bridling… but it was all a hoax
The Irish online and land gambling bookmaking firm Paddy Power unleashed its advertising mischief makers again during the run-up to the current FIFA World Cup championship in Brazil, publishing pictures via Twitter that suggested the company had hacked out large areas of Amazon rain forest to spell out the message "C'mon England — PP".
International Business News published some of the controversial pictures over the weekend, reporting on the indignant tweets posted in reaction to the project:
Of course it was another of Paddy's clever ruses, generating plenty of media coverage for the betting company, and after allowing the furore to build for awhile Paddy Power came back with the cheeky response:
"We didn't give the Amazon a Brazilian", the company said, confirming that it was an elaborate hoax which involved the computer manipulation of 1.5 million trees – "to raise awareness of deforestation".
The company is actually working with Greenpeace to get people involved in a campaign to save the rainforest, where Greenpeace claims an area the size of 122 football pitches is cut down every 90 minutes.
In its statement Paddy Power said: "We knew we'd drop off a fair few Christmas card lists yesterday, but we couldn't resist a bit of fake Twitter mischief to highlight an important issue to football fans as our World Cup warm-up. At least it gave people something to get animated about during last night's England-Honduras bore fest."
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