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Racist advertising: bet you won't see that again?

There was an outcry earlier this week when it was discovered that Microsoft had digitally altered a publicity photograph by superimposing the head of a white person onto a black person's body. Now to add to the bizarre story, gambling website Paddy Power has started taking bets on how racially diverse the upcoming Office 2010 advertising campaign will be.

As reported by Long Zheng at istartedsomething, Irish bookmakers Paddy Power are capitalising on the press that the controversial behaviour has gained. The company say that they think the "gaffe must have resulted in plenty of red faces in Microsoft" and that Microsoft themselves will be "ultra careful not be [sic] offend anyone" and have placed the "most likely option" of the mix of models or actors fronting the major advertising campaign to be white, Afro-American and Asian at odds of 11/10.

The photoshopped image behind all this was first spotted on Tuesday by Engadget and showed that, on the Polish version of Microsoft's website, a promotional graphic had been altered from the version on the American site, presumably to appeal better to the Polish market. In the image a white man's head had been edited onto a black man's body, although the black man's arm and hand had been left unchanged. Microsoft has since apologised for what they called a "marketing site photo mistake" and changed the image on the Polish site to the original version.

Here is the full list of odds from Paddy Power's press release:

  • 11/10 - White, Afro-American and Asian
  • 9/4 - White and Afro-American
  • 4/1 - White only
  • 6/1 - Afro-American only
  • 8/1 - Asian only
  • 10/1 - Afro-American & Asian
  • 12/1 - White and Asian
The bet is listed as "novelty" on the Paddy Power website.

Please note that Neowin does not encourage or condone gambling (or racism for that matter) in any way.

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