Paddy Power trolls Russian Embassy during London Pride with projected image of rainbow flag
Paddy Power spectacularly trolled the Russian Embassy in London on Saturday by projecting an image thanking them for their help in raising funds for LGBT+ charities.
The betting company announced last month that they would donate £10,000 to LGBT+ charities every time Russia scored a goal in the World Cup.
After Russia’s exit from the competition, the company has now announced that it has raised a total of £170,000 for LGBT+ charities.
However that wasn’t enough for Paddy Power, who decided to project an image onto the front of the Russian Embassy in London noting their help in raising the huge amount of money.
The projection read: “We’re out! But we scored thousands for LGBT+ causes. From Russia with Equal Love.”
Russia’s stance on LGBT+ issues is well known. What has become known as the ‘gay propaganda’ law aims to protect children from being exposed to content that presents homosexuality as normal.
A Paddy Power spokesman said: “Given they invented Russian Dolls, you’d be forgiven for thinking Russia wouldn’t have an issue with women being into other women.
“Likewise, their appreciation for bears is one shared around the world by the LGBT+ population, so it really is astonishing that they have not used their stewardship of this tournament to champion LGBT+ inclusivity.”
The spokesperson continued: “It was great to see the LGBT+ community get behind Russia this tournament – and the Russians’s baffled reaction.
“Given how much money the Russian football has raised this tournament, we thought projecting our thanks was the least we could do.”
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This is not the first time Paddy Power has used its tongue-in-cheek marketing tactics against Russia. In 2016, they parked a lorry outside the Embassy with the slogan, “Chat s**t, get banged,” written on it, referring to James Vardy’s now infamous tweet.
Meanwhile, LGBT+ people in Russia are worried that relaxed policing towards the community will end after the World Cup is finished.
Aleksandr Agapov, head of the Russian LGBT Sport Federation, last week said authorities have been relaxed in applying the country’s “gay propaganda” laws during the tournament, according to the Press Association.
Paddy Power hopes the cash they have raised will help to challenge prejudice against LGBT+ people on and off the field, support footballers in coming out, fund educational programmes in schools and colleges and make teams safe-spaces for LGBT+ people.