Betting on the Tesco Horse Meat Scandal

Betting on the Tesco Horse Meat ScandalIn 2013, the Tesco Horse Meat Scandal was all over the news.

Somehow, horse meat had found its way into several food products sold at well known supermarkets in the UK, including lasagnes and ‘beef’ burgers. Tesco got the worst of the backlash as their burgers had 29% horse meat in them, and even though everyone who ended up eating the affected meat remained in a ‘stable’ condition, people were furious.

PaddyPower was quick on the uptake with this one, and their Head of Mischief – which was the official job title – got to work creating a market on what type of meat would be found to contaminate our beef burgers next.

The odds were:

Betting on the Tesco Horse Meat Scandal

  • 2/1 Deer
  • 4/1 Dog
  • 6/1 Rabbit
  • 16/1 Squirrel
  • 33/1 Zebra
  • 40/1 Swan
  • 40/1 Greyhound
  • 100/1 Lion
  • 100/1 Penguin
  • 1000/1 Bigfoot
  • 2000/1 Unicorn

You can see a little crossover at the end with one of their other weird betting markets, Bigfoot.

Horse Meat Marketing Pranks

PaddyPower May Contain Horse Meat Cupcakes

The Vanilla Pod, Cheltenham

The Irish bookie took things even further when Cheltenham Festival came around not long after the horse meat news broke.

They contacted a local baker, The Vanilla Pod, and asked them to make some cupcakes that were, shall we say, customised, and delivered them to Cheltenham Racecourse for the staff to enjoy.

Of course, this was a nifty and inexpensive bit of marketing for PaddyPower, probably more to promote their own brand and image than to specifically promote their horse meat betting market, but still, it worked.

Images of the cupcakes went viral, with many people enjoying the gag and a few finding it distasteful, but you can’t please everyone can you.

They still weren’t done though. When they published their 2012 financial results for shareholders, the hard copy even came with a horse meat cookbook that played the theme tune to Black Beauty when it was opened.

Ken Robertson was Head of Mischief, and he said:

“Historically, financial results have been very dull and we wanted to reflect our brand persona as a mischief-maker this time.”

It should have been expected it really, since PaddyPower are always ‘horsing around’.