Irish Bookmaker Paddy Power have never been one to shy controversy with their advertising campaigns, but it seems they may have gone a step too far this time. With Manchester United’s interim manager and former star player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, considering taking legal action against the firm. The incident in question, concerns the bookmaker using a photograph of Solskjaer in one of their adverts.
According to the Irish Independent, Paddy Power “used an image of Solskjaer alongside a Brexit-inspired jibe at Theresa May, to promote bets on the Norwegian getting the United job permanently.” In an advertisement which appeared in last Thursday’s edition of the London Evening Standard newspaper.
The image of Solskjaer used by Paddy Power showed him clapping, whilst offering odds of 1/16 on, of Solskjaer being appointed the permanent successor to Jose Mourinho, who United sacked in December last year. The wording under the image of Solskjaer read “Theresa, time to try the Norwegian model.”
With a play on Brexit which is the number one news topic in the UK currently. Plus the fact that Man United the previous evening, became the first side in the knockout stages of the Champions League, to overturn a 2 goal deficit from the first leg, in the knock out stages of the competition. Paddy Power as per usual aimed to get the maximum return on their advert.
However, Solskjaer is less than amused that a photo of him has been used by the betting giants to help them generate more business. When interviewed by the Norwegian broadcaster NRK on Friday and subsequently questioned about Paddy Power’s advert, Solskjaer said: “They will have big problems with me. It is a betting company. I should not have anything to do with it. I promise you I will send this to my lawyer.”
Erik Flagan who is Solskjaer’s lawyer commented: “This is illegal. The use of personal images in a commercial context without the consent of the depicted is illegal both in Norway and England. In this type of case, it is common to first prohibit and demand compensation. This is done routinely on behalf of Solskjaer in all such cases.”
Yesterday Manchester United lost their first league game under Solskjaer, when they were defeated away to Arsenal 2 – 0 at the Emirates Stadium.