Paddy Power, The Open and Facebook

It’s a modern day tale of a great idea that is so poorly executed.

One of the great things about online marketing is that it is instantaneous. If you want to create an advert and publish it, you can do so in just a few minutes. And the results can be equally as fast. So, social networking sites like Facebook are an absolute gift to the average marketer, because not only can you create and publish adverts quickly, you can also target specific audiences.

For example, Paddy Power launched a betting advert campaign this week to coincide with The Open, offering all new accounts a free £50 bet. They used the Sponsored section which is the column of avderts to the right of the main content on facebook. The advert is reproduced below:

The headline is great, it grabs your attention (well it did mine!) and the call to action of a free bet is very attractive. But notice anything strange? The body copy is inviting me to bet on the US Masters, that took place way back in April when the sun was shining and we all thought we were going to have a glorious summer. Not only is the body copy of the advert all wrong, the advert links through to their US Masters page.

Normally this sort of thing wouldn’t bother me, but this is a financial services (albeit online betting) company. If they cannot get the small details right, then what does this say about their business practices? How safe is my money with them and how accurate are their betting odds?

So, come on Paddy Power, and William Reeve, it’s time to stop being an undercover boss and start asking some questions of your marketing department.

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