2. Paddy Power
In terms of in-your-face audacity, it’s hard to top Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, which paid for billboards near Olympic venues and major transport hubs.
Emblazoned on the billboards are the words: “Official sponsor of the largest athletics event in London this year! There you go, we said it.”
In parenthesis underneath, the ad admits that its sponsorship is, in fact, of an egg and spoon race in the town of London in France.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games ordered that the billboards be taken down for breaching sponsorship agreements but Paddy Power dug its heels in, lawyers circled and the campaign was allowed to continue.
Paddy Power wasn’t the only cheeky Irish marketing stunt at the Olympics, with boxer Paddy Barnes holding up a sign with his Twitter handle and the words ‘Open for sponsors’ during the opening ceremony, exposing him to around one billion TV viewers.