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Sportsbet harks back to Todd Carney ‘bubbler’ incident in ad for new app

Sportsbet has revisited the most notorious moment of controversial Rugby League player Todd Carney’s career in a campaign to promote its new iPhone betting app.

Carney was sacked by the Cronulla Sharks in 2014 after a photograph emerged in which he appeared to be urinating into his own mouth in an act referred to as a “bubbler”.

The Todd Carney incident

The Sportsbet ad shows Carney standing next to a replica of the Belgian Manneken Pis statue, a sculpture of a urinating boy. In the ad, the boy is urinating into his own mouth.

Referring to the app,  the Sportsbet voiceover states “Even whizz kid Todd Carney can use it”, to which he replies “Yeah piece of p…”

Sportsbet’s GM of marketing Tim Hernadi said in a press release: “Everyone knows someone who has committed foolish acts or have found themselves in foolish situations. Who better than Todd Carney to help us launch our new iPhone app and we’re confident punters will agree,” Hernadi said.

The ads also takes aim at “permanently offended protestors”, featuring placard waving activists angry at the ease with which the app can be used.

The campaign is not the first time Sportsbet has turned towards disgraced sports stars. In 2017 it hired drugs cheat sprinter Ben Johnson, who was stripped of his Olympic Gold medal, to promote is app for Android phones.

The Ben Johnson ad was later banned by the Ad Standards Board, with Sportsbet memorably arguing to the ASB that applying a “moral compass” to its work was irrelevant.

Earlier this year, AdNews reported that Sportsbet had cut its ties with creative agency BMF to take most of its creative work in-house. A spokesman for Sportsbet told Mumbrella the ad was a collaboration between creative agency Emotive and production house Finch.

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