Paddy Power’s ‘immigrant-flavoured mischief’ invites immigrants to ‘jump in the back’ of a lorry

Paddy Power sent a lorry from Dover to Calais, France, this morning (2 July) emblazoned with images of sports starts such as tennis player Andy Murray, cricketer Eoin Morgan and runner Mo Farah as the bookmaker attempts to use the immigrant crisis to boost Britain’s sport talent.

The lorry includes the headline “Immigrants, jump in the back! (But only if you’re good at sport)!”.

The timing coincides with Murray’s second round match at Wimbledon, where he is due on court number one at 1pm. Paddy Power says “sometimes Brit, sometimes Scot” Murray is the star of a “recruitment drive” to attract sporting heroes to British shores.

Ken Robertson, head of Paddy Power brand engagement team, says: “The Nation’s sporting future would be as grim as Andy Murray’s demeanour if we were to rely on ourselves to produce top class athletes, unless puking in Magaluf becomes a sport.”

The campaign is the latest in a series of controversial ads from Paddy Power, including one last year offering bets on the outcome of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. The ad regulator received 5,200 complaints about the ad and banned it for “bringing advertising into disrepute”.

However Paddy Power’s mischief champion Harry Dromey, speaking at the Festival of Marketing las year, claimed controversy is a “must have” for the brand as it looks to stand out in a “commoditised” betting market.

Paddy Power headed to Calais today in a bold bid to give Britain's sporting talent pool a boost.

The Port of Calais has been shut for the past few days due to a strike by French ferry workers. Some migrants have sought to exploit the strike by attempting to hitch a ride on lorries bound for the UK that were caught in traffic.

Thousands of migrants live in camps near Calais, many set on reaching the UK.