Imogen Thomas, the fetching strumpet at the heart of the Ryan Giggs’ super injunction brouhaha, has been hired as the face (plus bum, boobs and gams) of Paddy Power‘s money-back ad campaign promoting the Champions League final this Saturday. If Barca beats Man United within 90 minutes, Paddy will refund all losing first/last goalscorer, correct score and scorecast singles bets. The Daily Mail claims former Big Brother contestant Thomas received a “high five-figure sum” for her participation. A Paddy spokesperson observed: “Who else could we choose to front our advertising than Imogen Thomas – the most talked about woman in Britain this week. We did consider the Middleton sisters – but they were otherwise engaged.”
Paddy Power may be engaged in moving its online and phone betting operations abroad if the Irish government follows through on plans to impose a 2% tax on all bets. The government has proposed a 1% online betting tax, but agriculture minister Simon Coveney wants that doubled to 2%. CEO Patrick Kennedy told Ireland’s Sunday Business Post that “if we face a substantial tax, my board would – and should – turn around and say: at what stage does it no longer make sense to be in Ireland? We have to think about how we structure ourselves globally. My strong desire is that we structure as much as possible in Ireland, but I’d like to do that without someone coming after me at every turn.”
Paddy has about 800 employees working in its online/phone operations in Dublin, and is scheduled to move into new offices in September, but made sure to include break clauses in its lease agreement, just in case. Paddy plans to create 500 jobs in Ireland, but Kennedy says that could change if the government takes the 2% route. “They say they’ll enforce it; we’ll wait and see.” Perhaps Kennedy should send his new pal Imogen over to Coveney’s house to talk things over.