Paddy Power backs out on a planned Euro 2024 advertising campaign. It features Boris Johnson. This decision came after the backlash from its staff.

The former United Kingdom Prime Minister has reportedly agreed to a cameo role. The ad is for this summer’s European Championship international soccer tournament. The Irish-based gambling giant is well-known for its irreverent and often controversial advertising tactics. It often features publicity stunts to capture headlines and create talking points.
Recent ads have sparked fury. One showed a blind soccer player kicking a cat. Another social media video contained homophobic comments.
Johnson is the figurehead of the Brexit campaign in 2016. He was set to wear an England jersey and proclaim, “I told you I would get back in Europe,” as part of the promotional activity of the bookmaker. Given his political rhetoric and activity in recent times, it represents something of an irony. However, the eccentric politician is no stranger to a stunt, nor does he take advantage of an opportunity. Some would say he perfectly matches Paddy Power’s self-effacing brand.
Nonetheless, the U-turn seems to have resulted from unease among the workforce about using a figure as divisive as Johnson. This includes concerns about humorously poking fun at the Brexit situation.
Paddy Power (owned by Flutter Entertainment) confirmed that they had been in negotiations with representatives of the former London Mayor. Although the Euro 2024 campaign will not proceed, they expressed hope for a future partnership.
According to a spokesperson for the company, they have been speaking to Boris Johnson’s team about a number of opportunities, one of which was an idea for a cameo role in a TV advert.
With a general election on the horizon in the United Kingdom, Johnson is expected to be abroad for most of the campaign. However, he plans to lend his presence to the Conservatives remotely.