Luiz Suarez Paddy Power ad banned

Paddy Power has been punished by the advertising watchdog after featuring controversial Liverpool striker Luiz Suarez in one of its campaigns.

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The press ad, seen in The Sun newspaper in October promoting a special offer if the striker scored, has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for breaching rules because Suarez is under 25 years old.

According to the advertising code, ads for gambling services must not feature people under the age of 25 either gambling or “playing a significant role”.

Paddy Power and Sun owner News International said that as 24 year old Suarez was the subject of the bet as a professional footballer rather than a gambler, they did not believe he would be considered to be playing a significant role in the ad.

The companies also added that they did not believe the ad would encourage young or vulnerable people to gamble on the basis of Suarez’s image, objecting to a complaint that had dubbed the ad “socially irresponsible”.

The ASA ruled that because Suarez was the main focus of the ad, he was likely to be considered as playing a significant role by viewers and it therefore breached the advertising code. The ad must not appear again in its current form.

Suarez has also courted controversy on the field in recent weeks for allegedly racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra at an October Premier League match at Old Trafford.

The FA charged Suarez with an eight match ban and a £40,000 fine for the incident.

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