Paddy Power’s’Chief Mischief Maker’ Leaves After a Decade
Paddy Power’s head of brand marketing Paul Mallon has left his role with the company. The ‘Chief Mischief Maker’ spent a decade with the Irish bookmaker and was responsible for many controversial publicity stunts.
Irish bookmaker Paddy Power are looking for a new head of brand marketing after Paul Mallon confirmed his departure from the company. Mallon spent nearly a decade with the controversial operator, starting as an editorial manager before becoming the head of digital engagement three years later.
It is, however, his work as head of brand engagement, a role he took over in April 2016, that he will be fondly remembered for at the company.
Mallon took control of a team of more than 15 “Mischief Makers” and spearheaded an engagement strategy that often bordered on a thin line of bad taste but ensured that the Paddy Power brand was noticed.
Memorable stunts that Mallon was involved in include;
- Loyalty’s Dead – Ryan Giggs’s brother Rhodri appeared as the face of an advert for the company’s loyalty campaign. Poking fun at the well-publicised fallout between the pair. In the TV advert, Rhodri states he has been loyal all his life, a thinly veiled attack on his brother. OFCOM later banned the advert for glamorising gambling as a route to a wealthy lifestyle.
- Dear England – The bookmaker’s PR department made full use of the debate around BREXIT and taunted English fans ahead of a clash between Ireland and England in a Six Nations clash. The bookmaker installed a pop-up passport office, making light of a surge of UK citizens applying for its EU-accessible document.
- Saint to Sinner – When Pope Francis made a historic trip to Ireland in 2018, Paddy Power took full advantage and created a pop-up confessional booth outside Dublin’s Phoenix Park. The bookmaker said punters could “clear their conscience on the go” by visiting the booth.
- Costa – We Won’t Sh*t in your Coffee – When BBC’s Watchdog ran a feature that bacteria known as faecal coliforms had been found in samples taken from Costa Coffee, the bookmaker took full advantage. As some Paddy Power retail shops were located next to Costa Coffee, the bookmaker placed posters in these shops promising that they wouldn’t sh*t in their customer’s coffee.
- Juan Direction – When Donald Trump was visiting his golf resort in Turnberry in Scotland, Paddy Power hired a Mexican mariachi band to welcome the future president. Mocking Trump’s comments about building a wall between the US and Mexico, ‘Juan Direction’ performed with a wheelbarrow full of bricks.
- Putin your Medals – When Russia was exposed as taking part in a state-sponsored doping scandal in the run-up to the 2016 Olympics, the booker placed a medal amnesty box outside the Russian embassy in London. The box stated, ‘Putin your Medals, No Questions Asked.’ The bookmaker hired actors to look like Russian athletes, including a swimmer dressed in nothing but a pair of Speedos.
Mallon and his team recently attracted controversy with their ‘Save our Shirt’ campaign, which featured a Huddersfield Town shirt with the words Paddy Power wrote sash style across the shirt.
The imagery caused outrage with football fans before the picture was revealed as a hoax. Huddersfield Town, which Paddy Power sponsors, released the real kit a few days later with no sponsor logo branding. The bookmaker explained that it was part of their new #SaveOurShirt campaign, an initiative backing a move towards unbranded football kits, effectively returning the shirt back to the fans.
Mallon is set to become head of special operations at the marketing agency Lucky Generals, who he had worked with before on campaigns for Paddy Power. The company’s founder Andy Nairn stated he was excited to see Mallon join the company, saying:
“Clients are increasingly asking for non-traditional ideas that will make a genuine impact in popular culture – and that’s always been a sweet spot of ours. But now, we want to take things up a notch by hiring a real specialist,”
“Having worked with Paul, we know he’s the best in the business and are looking forward to letting him loose on our own clients,” Nairn added.