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02nd Jun 2018

WATCH: Have Paddy Power really just spray-painted a polar bear with the England flag?


This is just weird

Footage has emerged which appears to show a wild Russian polar bear being spray-painted with the flag of St George.

The bear also appears to have been branded with the initials PP, which happens to be the logo of bookmaker Paddy Power.

The footage emerged on LiveLeak on Friday evening and has since been picked up by users on Reddit.

In the footage, a man – whose identity is obscured by a mask and sunglasses – is seen speaking Russian, before the animal is then sprayed with red paint. A wider shot of the polar bear then shows it standing up, with the ‘PP’ logo visible alongside the St George’s flag.

If the stunt is linked to the Paddy Power, it would not be the first time that the bookmaker has caused controversy as a result of one of its marketing campaigns.

The betting outlet previously drew widespread criticism from human rights activists after sponsoring former-basketball player Dennis Rodman’s trip to North Korea in 2013.

The company has also run adverts pledging to “tranquilise chavs” at the Cheltenham Festival, offered punters “money back if he walks” during the murder trial of disabled athlete Oscar Pistorious, and was accused of making light of the refugee crisis in Calais by sponsoring a lorry bearing the slogan “immigrants, jump in the back! (but only if you’re good at sport)”.

Responding to the video on Reddit, one user wrote: “Is it me or does that look like the Paddy Power logo? Seems like something stupid they’d do.” While another simply added: “Crazy.”

Paddy Power have said that they are aware of the video and have confirmed that it is a real polar bear.