Paddy Power have reaffirmed their reputation as the undisputed Kings of Generating Publicity With Controversial Billboards this week with a new effort outside Liverpool's Lime Station.
The Irish bookmaker used a 100-ft digital screen in central Liverpool to imply that an incredibly average Premier League season for Brendan Rogers' side has actually been a good one. This is because Margaret Thatcher has died (she's hated at Anfield for her disregard for fans involved in the Heysel Disaster and her alleged obstruction of justice after the Hillsborough Disaster) and Manchester Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson has retired (try to guess why they are happy about this).
The idea is that "Some Scouser" (person from Liverpool) found a genie's lamp and he or she has one wish left, having already wished death upon a frail old lady and retirement upon English football's most successful manager of all time. By reproducing Liverpool's 25-1 odds of winning the Premier League next year, the implication is that there is enormous profit to be made by using the third wish to artificially influence the outcome of a sporting event. Even in the moral maze of the gambling business, this is quite an astounding trio of wishes.
On their blog, Paddy Power gently mock their own controversy-seeking publicity stunts, referring to themselves as the "Lindsay Lohan of bookmaking." When you become the Lindsay Lohan of anything, it's probably time to take a step back and look at yourself...