Bookmaker Paddy Power is among 19 advertisers who have had complaints against them recently upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI).

A total of six complaints were received by the ASAI in relation to a Paddy Power ad that was published in a number of newspapers around the Six Nations championship earlier this year.

The ad read, "Dear England, Sorry for the last two years of pain, suffering and humiliation. Another 798 and we'll be even. Paddy Power."

Six complaints were received in relation to the ad, with complainants considering it to be racist, offensive, anti-English in sentiment, stirring up anti-English feelings, and both highly insensitive and bigoted towards English people. 

The complainants also claimed that the content was confusing, inciting to violence, inflammatory, harmful and hostile and bordering on incitement to hatred of all things English.

They also considered the ads to be unhelpful in the context of Brexit, and inappropriate in the current time of fear of a hard border being re-introduced.

In response Paddy Power said it was mindful of its obligations under the Code of Standards and that the ads promoted the Paddy Power brand alone.

It also said it sought to promote advertising campaigns that were edgy, humorous and engaging and believed that the public in Ireland and the UK recognised that its marketing campaigns contained a humorous and mischievous element.

The company also said it was never its intention to cause offence with the advertisement and expressed its regrets for any offence caused to the complainants.

But the ASAI Complaints Committee took a different view and upheld the complaints.

It said it considered that reference to 'pain, suffering and humiliation' may have an appropriate place in rugby as a contact sport and given the performance history between teams.

But it said that given the history between the two countries, it considered that references to pain, suffering and humiliation with 'we'll be even' was likely to cause offence.

Also upheld was a complaint against a social media post by Rosanna Davison Nutrition.

The complainant considered that the post was misleading as the influencer did not disclose the fact that the post contained an affiliate link for which it was potentially receiving a commission from.

In response Rosanna Davison Nutrition said it had genuinely not been aware it was necessary to alert followers to affiliate links. 

It offered to remove the images and said it would alert followers to any affiliate links in the future.

The ASAI Complaints Committee upheld the complaint as it had breached the code.

An Instagram post from Apache Pizza showing five lunchboxes, each containing a slice of pizza, and the statement "I'm really getting into this meal prep thing…apachepizzaireland Did you have enough self-control to keep some slices for your Monday work lunch? If not there's always next week!", was also upheld by the ASAI.

It was objected to by the Irish Heart Foundation, which said it was irresponsible to suggest that meal preparation should  take the form of pizza slices every time. 

It also said that the ASAI code specifically advised that brands should not condone excess consumption, should not encourage an unhealthy lifestyle or encourage unhealthy eating habits. 

A complaint against Virgin Media was also upheld as the ad for a range of TV, broadband and phone packages on sale at a reduced price did not make it clear that the offer was only available to new customers.

Argos also had a complaint against it upheld over an ad for a product advertised at €16.99 but which actually cost €48.99.

The complainant said she had only been made aware of this when she went to purchase it and there were no in-store notices to alert prospective consumers.