Betfair and the case of the UK’s first squidlock

Gabriella Griffith
WHY DID the Octopus cross the road? It didn’t. The truck it was on stopped smack bang in the middle of Oxford Street at rush hour. Arf, arf.

London came to a standstill yesterday when a truck, transporting an eight-legged prop for a Betfair advert choked in the epicentre of London’s rush hour, causing much bemusement and a lot of frustration as people battled to get to work.

Betfair tweeted its sorry, claiming that it just broke down there. But many others smelled a PR stunt. Betfair’s brand manager certainly wasted no time tweeting with inconspicuous hashtag, #OctopusCircus.

Betfair is no stranger to a PR stunt. The online betting firm once shaved QR codes onto the back on Bromley FC’s players’ heads; they commissioned a Tevez dump truck encouraging Man City and Man United fans to chuck out their Tevez shirts; they created a Guinness World Record for most ABBA impersonators singing Waterloo... the list goes on. Ergo, some might the Octopus’ central London “squidlock” was no accident.

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